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January 1, 2014

Derry Crash Update: At least one teen in critical condition

DERRY — One of the three teens injured in a New Year's Eve car wreck on Gulf Road is fighting for her life in a Boston hospital today, while the condition of the car's driver could not be determined.

The third teen, Thompson Upham-Davis, 16, of Chester, was found walking beside the car with only minor injuries when police and firefighters arrived just after the 10:34 p.m. accident.

Kyle Ross, the 17-year-old who was driving, and Johanna Morse, 16, who was riding in a back seat, suffered life-threatening injuries in the New Year's Eve accident and were flown by separate helicopters to different Boston hospitals. Both are from Derry.

Derry firefighters took Morse to Parkland Medical Center, where she was then flown by Boston Medflight to Tufts Medical Center. Hospital spokeswoman Allison Hurley said she was in critical condition, meaning her vital signs such as her heartbeat and respiration are unstable.

Ross was flown to Massachusetts General Hospital by a DART medical helicopter. Emily Williams, a hospital spokeswoman, said Ross was not in the hospital's directory of patients, meaning either he was not at the hospital or that his family asked that he not be listed.

Ross and Morse were trapped in the badly mangled car and were extricated using hydraulic rescue tools.

“There was so much damage to the car, I literally thought it was a Smart Car — that's how short the car looked,” said Fire Battalion Chief Jack Webb, referring to the so-called micro-car known for its extremely compact size. “You could just tell these kids were badly injured.”

All 15 on-duty Derry firefighters responded to the accident, where rescue teams performed advanced life support procedures on Ross and Morse before loading them onto the helicopters, Webb said.

Derry police and the Salem Fire Department closed the intersection of Island Pond Road and Route 111 to allow the helicopter that would carry Ross to Mass General to land.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident, which occurred at the intersection of Gulf Road and Hampshire Drive. Gulf Road was closed for five hours.

Derry police are investigating the accident and would not say whether drugs or alcohol were involved.

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