By Lisa Kashinsky [email protected] –
METHUEN — A man was killed and a woman sustained life-threatening injuries after a car collided head-on with a commercial trailer dump truck on Riverside Drive Tuesday morning, police said.
The man was not identified by police as of press time. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police identified the woman as Sunny Faretra, 31, of Burlington. She was transported to Lawrence General Hospital and then taken by medical flight to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where she remained in critical condition Tuesday afternoon, according to police.
Police said they received several 911 calls around 8 a.m. Tuesday about the crash, which occurred on Riverside Drive in the area of Strathmore Road.
Based on preliminary police investigation, a black Honda Accord had been traveling eastbound on Riverside Drive heading toward Lawrence. Witnesses told police that for an unknown reason, the Honda vehicle crossed the double line on the roadway and struck the commercial truck head-on as it was traveling westbound.
Police said it was not immediately clear why the Honda crossed the center line.
The Honda was pushed back into the red Acura MDX that been traveling behind it. The operators of the Acura and the commercial truck were transported to an area hospital with minor injuries, police said.
Methuen police and fire departments responded to the scene, along with paramedics and the Massachusetts State Police Accident Reconstruction Team. The crash remains under investigation by state police and Officer Elvin Alarcon of Methuen police.
Traffic was diverted from the area for several hours following the crash. Riverside Drive was closed at Glen Avenue and Madison Street, with traffic detoured to Burnham Road and Byron Avenue.
Strathmore Road is a residential street in a neighborhood just north of the Merrimack River, near the Lawrence line. Strathmore Road connects Riverside Drive to Route 110.
All three vehicles were towed from the scene around noon, and the roads reopened shortly thereafter, police said.
Methuen police were working Tuesday afternoon to identify the operator of the Honda. Anyone with information on the accident is asked to call the police department at 978-983-8698.
Riverside Drive has been the location of multiple crashes over the years. In 2010, a woman was injured after the car she was driving veered off Riverside Drive and struck two utility poles, knocking out power to 900 customers.
Then, in 2012, a Haverhill teenager died when he drove a stolen car into a utility pole and tree on Riverside Drive shortly before the Lawrence line.
In 2014, Eric Wayne was driving on Riverside Drive when his vehicle crossed the median and hit another, killing a 26-year-old Lawrence man. Wayne, a former Lowell police officer, was sentenced to four years in state prison in 2016 after pleading guilty to killing the man and injuring his sister while driving drunk, according to the Essex County district attorney’s office.
Methuen police Capt. Gregory Gallant said while Riverside Drive doesn’t necessarily have more accidents than other areas in the city, the accidents “typically are more serious.”
“That stretch from Methuen into Lawrence, it’s a major thoroughway, so you see a lot of traffic,” Gallant said.
“Because there’s no barrier, if one motor vehicle crosses the lane into the other, typically with head-on collisions you’re going to see serious injury,” he continued.
Follow Lisa Kashinsky on Twitter @lisakash23. Staff reporter Kiera Blessing contributed to this report. Follow Blessing on Twitter @kierablessing.