May 18, 2015 5:57 PM
CONCORD - Marilyn Bachman said she has to forgive Travis Hobbs, who killed her husband two days before Christmas in 2013.
"I think I have to, in order to go forward," Bachman said Monday. "I could not live harboring those emotions. They're way too strong."
Hobbs, 21, of Mont Vernon, was texting while driving in Amherst when he ran into 71-year-old John Bachman on Dec. 23. John was along the side of Merrimack Road, checking the mail.
Marilyn said she found the former Amherst fire chief laying in a snowbank, calling for her help.
It's an image that still haunts her. She remembers her first spring without John and the pain she had, watching that pile of snow melt.
"I remember the snow melting where John was laying, moaning and covered in blood," Marilyn said. "I was just terrified that the snow was going to go away and it was going to be the last of my visual memory of him."
Hobbs was acquitted of the criminal charges filed against him in November, and Marilyn said she asked him to become involved in the New Hampshire Driving Toward Zero project with her.
She has taken her grief, and used it to advocate for safe driving behaviors.
Although Hobbs has not participated in the NHDTZ coalition yet, Marilyn is confident his apologies about what happened are sincere.
"I truly believe that if he could take that split second back, he would do that," Marilyn said.
Recently, Marilyn has been speaking at high schools throughout the state.
This summer, she plans to speak at a Rotary meeting.
She also looks forward to July 1, when holding a cell phone while driving a vehicle becomes a ticketable offense.
Follow Kimberley Haas on Twitter @KHaasNH1.
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