EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 22, 2012

Methuen police say passengers in head-on crash lucky to be alive

By Mark E. Vogler
mvogler@eagletribune.com

---- — METHUEN — Police said it was miraculous that nobody died in a head-on collision that demolished both cars early last night on Weybosset Street.

“It had the potential to be a fatal accident and all parties involved are lucky that nobody was killed,” Methuen Police Capt. Randy Haggar said in an interview last night.

Haggar said it was also fortunate that no bystanders were hurt in the crash, which happened shortly after 6 near 86 Weybosset St., which runs off of Pelham Street in the northwest part of the city.

“It’s right in the heart of a densely-populated residential area,” Haggar noted.

Police believe that 17-year-old Daniel Retman, of 8 West St., Methuen, was driving a 1995 Honda Civic too fast as he headed southbound on Weybosset Street when he collided head-on into a 2003 Nissan Altima, driven Amy Frazier, 58, of 38 Weybosset St., Methuen.

Firefighters had to use a hydraulic jack to free Retman from the wreckage. He suffered a broken leg and a broken arm and later transported to Beth Israel Hospital in Boston with what police described as “non-life-threatening injuries.”

A 15-year-old passenger in the front seat of the Honda received face and neck injuries. He was taken to Lawrence General Hospital by his father. The rear seat passenger, a 15 year old male, wasn’t injured. He was picked up by his mother.

Frazier was transported to the Holy Family Hospital for treatment of minor injuries and released.

“All parties involved are expected to make a full recovery,” Haggar said.

Haggar said preliminary results of the investigation determined that alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

However, police recovered several unopened containers of alcohol at the accident scene last night, which could lead to criminal charges, according to Haggar.

“I’m expecting that before the end of the investigation that charges will be forthcoming,” Haggar said.

Methuen Police Officers James Moore and Frank Lascola initially responded to the scene.

Moore, along with Haggar and the State Police Accident Reconstruction unit continue to investigate the crash. The reconstruction unit normally responds to fatal crashes or accidents with serious injuries which could lead to a fatality — an indication the extensive damage received by both cars.

“I’m very pleased that a week before Christmas, nobody was killed in this crash,” Haggar said.

Photographer Tim Jean also contributed to this story.