‘Celebrity of the Family': Musician and Father Identified as Man Killed in Fiery Tollbooth Crash

What to Know

  • An autopsy has been scheduled for the person who died in a fiery crash at the Bedford toll plaza in New Hampshire on March 28.
  • State police said after hitting the center divider, the truck rolled over at least once, landing between two unmanned E-ZPass lanes.
  • The identity of the driver has not been released.

Police have identified the victim in Wednesday's fiery fatal crash at a New Hampshire toll plaza.

Caleb Scofield, 39, of Bow, died of smoke and heat inhalation, thermal injuries and multiple blunt impact injuries. An autopsy was conducted on Thursday morning.

Family and friends of Scofield, a popular local musician, have started a fundraising site for his wife and their two children.

"To see them torn apart like this," said cousin Kaitlyn O'Connor. "I don't know how they're going to go on without him."

Scofield was well-known in music circles as a bassist and vocalist in the alternative metal industry. He was a member of the bands Old Man Gloom and Cave In.

"He was one of a kind," Cave In wrote in a statement. "Our best friend and an unfathomable world of inspiration."

Countless fans around the world have taken to social media to mourn the tragic loss.

"His love for music was almost as equal for his desire to want to be a good dad," O'Connor said. "He always followed his dreams and we all truly looked up to him and thought he was kind of a celebrity of the family."

The crash happened shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday on the Everett Turnpike at the Bedford toll plaza, shutting down the northbound side of the highway for nearly two hours. 

Aerial footage from NBC10 Boston's Sky Ranger helicopter showed the burned wreckage of a vehicle lying in front of the tollbooth. The tollbooth was also damaged, with a side panel and speed limit sign lying in the rubble.

"I was like, 'Oh my gosh, do I stop or do I keep going,'" witness Jordan Geoffroy said. "I immediately hopped on my phone, dialed 911."

New Hampshire State police said after hitting the center divider, the truck rolled over at least once, landing between two unmanned E-ZPass lanes. There were people working in adjacent tollbooths at the time but they were not injured.

Witnesses claim that that the crash occurred after Scofield attempted to switch lanes at the last minute.

Trask said it's still not clear how fast the truck was traveling, but from the damage, he would guess that it was going pretty fast.

"It removed part of the concrete barrier right out of the toll plaza," Trask said. "I've never seen that happen."

In the wake of Scofield's crash, officials are reevaluating the safety of New Hampshire tollbooths and considering converting the plaza into entirely electronic tolling.

The project would would remove the potential danger that concrete structures in the road pose to drivers. It would cost 20 million dollars and take two years to complete, according to Bill Boynton, Public Information Officer at New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

"A separate project would also convert the toll booths on the Spaulding turnpike in Dover and Rochester to all electronic tolling, all of those within the next few years," Boynton said.

In other parts of the state, electronic tolling is already in place, according to Boynton. But until a decision is made about the Bedford toll plaza, drivers are warned to slow down and obey the signs.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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