EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

June 3, 2014

One person hospitalized after I-495 rollover

Three other young adults also hurt

By Douglas Moser
dmoser@eagletribune.com

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METHUEN — One woman was flown to a Boston hospital and three other people were injured in a single-car rollover on Interstate 495 late yesterday morning.

Massachusetts State Police said one person was transported to Lawrence General Hospital after the crash and then flown by medical helicopter to a Boston hospital. Police have not released her name, and local fire officials said she may have serious internal injuries.

All five occupants of the car are local and young adults, ranging in age from about 18 to 20, said Methuen Fire Lt. Tim Smith. He said yesterday afternoon he was aware of no evidence of alcohol or drug involvement.

“She had no obvious injury, nothing that looked serious on the outside, but most likely she had significant internal injury,” Smith said of the woman.

The three others were transported to either Lawrence General or Holy Family Hospital in Methuen with “superficial injuries” such as lacerations, he said. A fifth person signed a medical treatment refusal.

Edward Boches, a Winchester resident with family in the area, was about 50 yards behind the car just before the crash. He said traffic was fairly light, “plenty of room between cars,” and the car did not appear to be speeding.

He saw several people in the vehicle and what appeared to be a woman’s hair flowing out of one of the driver’s side windows. Boches, who was driving alone to New Hampshire, moved into the middle lane behind a white truck.

“Then for no apparent reason, that car swerved very quickly to the right into the middle lane,” Boches said.

The car over-corrected and swerved back into the left lane and began rolling. “It had to roll over 360 degrees at least four times,” he said. “I don’t remember how many times on the road before it bounced onto the median. On the median, it seemed at the time it was five to 10 feet off the ground, at which point a woman’s body came flying out of the car, which was horrifying. At that time I’m about parallel to the car.”

Boches pulled over about a tenth of a mile up the road and called 911, he said. Other vehicles had pulled over near the crash to offer assistance. He said one of the car’s occupants had gotten out and run toward the woman who was thrown out. The whole crash took three to four seconds.

State Police reported the crash at 11:47 a.m. yesterday. Traffic was backed up for about 2 1/2 hours, reaching to Andover at one point. Police and Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials blocked the two left lanes. State Police are still investigating the cause.

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