By Douglas Moser
---- — LAWRENCE — State police collision investigators determined that a 19-year-old man who crashed into a utility pole on Haverhill Street Saturday night was going at least 80 miles per hour.
David Gomez, 19, was transported first to Lawrence General Hospital and then to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston after the crash, which occurred at about 9:50 p.m. Saturday, police said.
Police Chief John Romero said yesterday that police have not yet determined whether the crash resulted from a drag race.
“We have a witness who believes he might have been racing. We don’t know that for a fact,” he said. “A lot of people heard the crash first and then came to look.”
Gomez, who was flung from the car in the crash, was in critical condition Saturday when he was transported, police said. His condition was unavailable last night.
According to the police report, Gomez was driving a white BMW east on Haverhill Street toward Broadway Saturday night. Video police retrieved from Primos Liquors on Haverhill Street showed a white blur plowing through a utility pole. The video did not show another speeding vehicle.
The car also hit a food truck on Haverhill Street, causing minor damage to the truck’s rear bumper, police said. Two men inside the truck told police they saw the BMW catch fire and jumped out with two fire extinguishers. When the fire was out, they looked for passengers and found the car empty. They spotted Gomez on the ground a few yards away.
According to the police report, the BMW laid a long skid mark on Haverhill Street that stretched into the opposite lane of travel. The snapped utility pole damaged a green 1999 Toyota parked nearby. The car’s owner, who worked across the street in a liquor store, said he did not see the crash.
Police plan to cite Gomez with driving to endanger and speeding.
Police said part of the utility pole dangled from wires above the street, and a thick wire hung over the intersection of Haverhill and Oxford streets. The area was closed to traffic until National Grid could repair the damage.
The snapped pole knocked out power for two customers, National Grid spokeswoman Deborah Drew said. Crews were dispatched immediately and had service restored by about 3 a.m.
Earlier this year, State Police arrested several people in a crack down on drag racing on interstates 93 and 495. Last year, a 17-year-old was injured and cited when he crashed while drag racing on Emerald Street in Lawrence.
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