EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 5, 2014

Driver badly hurt after chase leads to crash

By Dustin Luca

---- — ANDOVER — Two crashes, including one with serious injury, were responsible for tying up traffic on Interstate 93 through Andover yesterday afternoon.

A 67-year-old Malden man, the driver and only passenger in a red 2007 Mercury Milan, was injured after leading State Police on a high-speed chase up the highway’s northbound lane yesterday afternoon around 3:45.

State Police cruisers pursued the vehicle at 50 miles per hour at first, while responding to a call about an erratic driver. Then the car’s speed accelerated to 80 miles an hour, according to scanner reports.

One of the troopers in pursuit radioed back that “this guy’s going to kill somebody,” quickly prompting a “terminate pursuit” order from an officer in charge, scanner reports indicate.

“Terminated,” the officer giving chase radioed back. “He’s still going, guardrail to guardrail.”

Moments later, the car crashed into a guardrail along the northbound high-speed lane roughly a half mile north of exit 42, the highway’s Dascomb Road off-ramp in Andover, according to scanner reports.

Entrapment was reported as the car was tucked under the guardrail. As responders worked to remove the driver from the vehicle, it was communicated by scanner that the driver had a heart attack, according to scanner reports.

The condition of the driver, along with an explanation for what led to the chase, were not available from State Police last night. The cause of the erratic operation and subsequent crash remained under investigation by troopers from the Andover barracks.

Initially, a medical helicopter was called in, to land on the highway and fly the driver to an area hospital. However, the flight was redirected to Lawrence General Hospital after the driver was taken by ambulance to that facility, according to scanner reports.

The left two lanes of the highway near the crash scene were closed were closed for about 30 minutes, sending traffic to the right lane and breakdown lane, which was open for travel at the time, according to reports. Traffic slowed to a crawl in both directions, including the southbound lane on up to Lowell Street, exit 43, nearly a mile and a half away.

By the time the first crash scene was cleared, a second crash was reported on the highway’s northbound lane, according to scanner reports.

Located south of the first accident, the second one involved a car and tractor trailer around a mile north of exit 41, Ballardvale Street in Wilmington. Injury was reported in the second crash, according to scanner reports.

By 4:45 p.m., the scene of the second crash was also cleared and traffic was moving freely all the way to and through Andover.