After breakfast Thursday morning at Dave’s Diner in Gardiner, Dan Alexander and his wife, Sandra, headed south for the winter.

Every year, after wrapping up work at the Foggy Bottom Marina in Farmingdale, they would head to Florida, stopping along the way to visit one of their sons for a couple of weeks.

Around 9:30 a.m., on Interstate 95 in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, the trip came to an abrupt and tragic end.

Alexander suffered a “medical event,” losing control of the pickup that was hauling the Alexanders’ camper. The New Hampshire State Police investigation shows the truck crossed the median and reached the northbound lanes when Sandra Alexander was able to regain control of the truck and guide it back to the median, where it hit a structure, went airborne and then crashed.

“Mrs. Alexander prevented this crash from becoming more serious,” New Hampshire State Police Lt. Jerome Maslan said Friday. “From her efforts, the truck was able to stay in the median.”

Dan Alexander, 71, was pronounced dead at Portsmouth Regional Hospital. Sandra Alexander, 69, was treated for injuries. A hospital spokesperson said Friday evening that the family did not want details released about her condition.

On Friday, among Dan’s circle of friends, the shock of his loss was palpable.

Sonny Barry, who was having breakfast with his sons Thursday at Dave’s Diner, visited a few minutes with the Alexanders, who were also there.

“He was giddy, just like a kid,” Barry said from his Farmingdale office, where he oversees the operations of Everett C. Barry and Son, a road contractor. Dan had told him they were heading south just as soon as they finished eating. That was at 8 a.m.

Barry and Alexander go way back, to when Barry’s father was road commissioner and Alexander worked during school vacations to sweep sand off the streets with a broom, long before the advent of mechanized street sweepers.

Alexander worked for Barry before he went into the service, and again when he got out. Barry said he could see that Alexander wanted something more.

And more he found. During his life he sold furniture, ran a car wash and most recently operated Foggy Bottom Marine. He’d stopped selling boats but still operated the marina and a campground.

Barry said he was down there earlier this month to help pull the docks from the water. It’s a big job and requires heavy equipment.

Denis Carrier was there, too. He met Alexander nearly two decades ago when he happened to stop by the marina one day after to church to see how much a boat might cost. Not too long after that, Alexander sold him one, and Carrier kept it at the marina for many years,

“He was always good to me,” Carrier said. “Some people took him as stubborn, but he never was to me. We were a part of his family, and they were a part of ours.”

Barry, saddened by the loss of his friend, reflected on Alexander’s life briefly before summing it up this way: “He was well-liked. He was a very good businessman and he was a fair person.”

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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