Police: 4 injured after wrong-way driver hits ambulance on Massachusetts Turnpike

Two EMS providers, a patient and the driver of the other vehicle were injured after the driver allegedly refused to pull over for a state trooper and went through stop sticks

Jackson Cote

BOSTON — Authorities are expecting to criminally charge a man accused of driving erratically on the wrong side of the Massachusetts Turnpike early Wednesday before crashing into an ambulance and injuring himself as well as three others, police said.

A Massachusetts State Police trooper who was on patrol in Brighton around 3:05 a.m. spotted a Nissan Versa authorities claimed was driving west on the eastbound side of the highway in the Boston neighborhood.

“The vehicle was also traveling at an excessive speed and weaving between lanes, and traffic was light at that time,” state police said in a statement.

The trooper reversed direction, followed the car and tried to catch up to the driver to signal him to stop, according to the statement.

However, the man refused to pull over, even after the trooper caught up to him. The officer eventually stopped chasing the suspect after being told to do so by state police Troop H headquarters.

The driver is accused of continuing to travel west on the eastbound side of the highway for 3 more minutes without any troopers tailing him, according to state police.

Simultaneously, several troopers were parked at the Natick service plaza on the eastbound side of the Pike due to a separate call about a man with a gun, state police said.

The troopers were alerted of the alleged wrong-way driver, who was traveling toward their location, and one of the officers deployed a “stop sticks” tire deflation device across the lane from the edge of the plaza, according to authorities.

The suspect hit the device, and his car became disabled. Officials claimed he proceeded to drive for another few seconds before crashing into the ambulance.

Immediately after the collision, the troopers at the plaza gave medical aid to the individuals injured in the crash, according to state police.

Two personnel from Vital Ambulance, a 45-year-old man and a 38-year-old man, suffered minor injuries and were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, authorities said.

The suspected wrong-way driver, who was seriously injured and remains in critical condition, was also taken to Mass. General, according to officials.

“He had no identification on him at the time of the crash, and we are working to confirm his suspected identity,” state police said.

The passenger inside the ambulance, a 49-year-old woman, was being transported for non-critical reasons at the time of the crash. Due to the collision, she suffered minor injuries and was taken to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, according to authorities.

State police said they expect to summons the man accused of crashing into the ambulance to court to face criminal charges, though those charges have yet to be determined.

His car, authorities said, had a license plate attached to it belonging to another vehicle.

The circumstances surrounding the incident, including why the suspect was driving on the on wrong side of the highway and where he got onto the Pike, remain under investigation.


(c)2020 MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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