Central counselor dies from injuries sustained in July 22 Bedford bicycle accident

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A photo tribute to Diane Antoscia as posted on Bike Manchester Facebook page. Diane was an active member of the group.

BEDFORD, NH – Diane Antoscia, 58, of Bedford, died Aug. 5 from serious injuries sustained following an accident July 22 while riding her bicycle in Bedford.

Antoscia was a counselor for Central High School’s SAP (Student Assistance Program) team, where she worked closely with students to provide confidential services to those with personal concerns that were affecting their performance at school or home.

The entire school staff is reeling from the news, said Central Principal John Vaccarezzi.

“Her influence and passion went well beyond the walls of Central,” Vaccarezzi said.

As SAP coordinator for more than 15 years, Antoscia worked with individual students and also with groups of students on substance abuse issues, as well as helping them understand the importance of making healthy living choices, Vaccarezzi said.

“She was instrumental in bringing awareness to both members inside and outside of the CHS community on the topic of substance abuse and addiction, and worked to bring numerous guest speakers to Central, ranging from teens fighting addiction and family members of those fighting addiction, to EMTs.

“She even brought (former NBA player) Chris Herren to Central last year,” Vaccarezzi said.

Antoscia was also advisor of the Life of an Athlete program, focused on getting students to live healthy lifestyles, build leadership and understand wise choices both on and off the field, Vaccarezzi said.

“She worked passionately this past year along with her Life of an Athlete students to bring awareness around the issue of vaping that many schools are facing, and she brought this awareness also to the middle schools,” Vaccarezzi said.

“And you know, personally, she was a warm person who would always encourage and support but never enable people. She was not afraid to give you the difficult answer, but always in a warm way – she wanted what was best for the individual. As someone I worked with and got to appreciate as a person, I will – and the whole faculty will – miss her beyond words,” Vaccerezzi said. “I can’t even express it. We are distraught right now.

Antoscia was an original board member of Bike Manchester, says Derek Shooster, who serves as chairman of the bicycling advocacy organization.

“Diane was an incredibly passionate advocate for getting more people to ride bikes more often — especially women —and above all, she championed safety. Diane was our champion for Women’s Bike Month in June, and organized women’s group bike rides, opportunities for women to get comfortable riding a bicycle, and helping out young children at our recent bike safety skills fairs,” said Shooster, who joined the group two years ago.
“She had been a welcome voice for sensible, equitable, and expansive changes to Manchester’s build environment so that more people would have an opportunity to ride safely around the city. Diane’s passing is not only a loss to her family and loved ones; it is a tragic loss to this entire community,” Shooster said. 
He wanted to be sure that the central message sent out in the wake of this particular tragedy – whether walking, driving, pedaling or taking public transportation – is that everyone travel safely and mindfully.
“Remember to prioritize safety – car, bus, bike, pedestrian – please be careful out there,” Shooster said.
Aerial view of Birkdale Road in Bedford. Google Earth

On July 22 Bedford Police responded to the area of 36 Birkdale Road, a woodsy residential country road off the beaten path, after receiving a report of a medical emergency. Upon arrival, officers located Antoscia, who had suffered life-threatening injuries. She was transported to a local hospital. She died Sunday from complications of her injuries.

Following the incident, Bedford Police sought the public’s help in determining how Antoscia was injured and would like to thank community members who have sent in video footage of the area around the time of the incident.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Bedford Police Department. Anyone with information is asked to call Bedford Police at 603-472-5113.

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About Carol Robidoux 5901 Articles
Longtime NH journalist and publisher of ManchesterInkLink.com. Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!