A deadly wrong-way crash on Interstate 495 in Massachusetts killed five people, four of whom were college students. The four students were riding together in a 2003 Mercury Sable headed northbound when they were hit by a wrong-way driver. The driver of that vehicle, a 2011 Infiniti G37, was a 31-year-old woman of Fall River, Massachusetts. She and the four occupants of the Mercury all died in the collision.
The crash caused the Mercury “to become engulfed in fire,” state police said. Newsday reports that police are investigating the incident, and trying to determine why the woman was driving the wrong way. “Why she ended up driving on the wrong side of the highway, and any contributing factors to her erratic operation, remain subjects of the ongoing State Police investigation.” the police said in a statement.
According to Newsday, two of the students attended Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts and other two attended Anna Maria college in Paxton.
Becker said in a statement, “We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of two of our students. . . . We also grieve for the other lives that were lost. Our sincere condolences and prayers go out to their families, friends, and local communities. To support our campus community, the college is providing counseling services.”
Unfortunately, traffic deaths appear to be on the rise. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report showing that traffic deaths jumped up 10.4 percent during the first half of 2016 (17,775 deaths) compared to the same period last year (16,100 deaths). The report noted that Americans drove more miles this year, but it was not enough to account for the increase in fatalities.
NHTSA did not pinpoint a cause for the increase, stating “It is too soon to attribute contributing factors or potential implications of any changes in deaths on our roadways,”
For seven consecutive quarters since the final months of 2014, the rate of traffic deaths has been higher compared to previous years.
In light of this tragic trend, the NHTSA has announced its “Road to Zero” coalition which seeks to eliminate traffic deaths, including deaths on sidewalks and bicycle paths, by 2046.