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Victim identified as former Amherst fire chief

AMHERST, N.H. —A Mont Vernon man was texting while driving when he struck and killed the former Amherst fire chief, authorities said Tuesday.

Hillsborough County Attorney Patricia LaFrance said Travis Hobbs, 20, was charged with negligent homicide in connection with the crash that killed John Bachman, 71, on Monday. Hobbs told police he was texting and thought he hit only a snowbank. He came forward after seeing media reports about the crash.

Bachman, who was also a local businessman, was getting his mail when he was struck. He was found injured in a snow bank and later died at the hospital.

Hobbs was arrested Tuesday and released after posting $50,000 bail plus $1,000 cash. As part of his release, he is not allowed to drive. It could not immediately be learned if he had a lawyer. A phone number for Hobbs could not be found.

Amherst Fire Chief Mark Boynton said he had met Bachman a few times since he took over in 2010 as chief of the 50-member department. He had lunch with Bachman a month ago.

“He was a great guy,” Boynton said. “I can tell you he was a respected chief here.”

Boynton said the family has asked the department to provide a color guard for Bachman’s funeral.

The Nashua Telegraph reported that Bachman and his daughter, Pam McKinney, owned and operated AnaTek Corporation, which sold electronic repair equipment and provided other resources for repair technicians.