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Better signs urged after wrong-way I-95 crash

Father of injured driver says he’ll contact lawmakers on issue

North Stonington – A 22-year-old Massachusetts man whose car was struck head on by a wrong-way driver on Interstate 95 early Saturday underwent nearly four hours of surgery Sunday at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.

Bruce A. Wall, 22, of Hyde Park, was driving his Oldsmobile sedan south in the left lane of the highway about 2:30 a.m. Saturday when it was struck by a northbound Audi driven by Ellen H. Noordzy, 21, of Exeter, R.I., state police said. The crash occurred near Exit 93.

While Noordzy was treated for chest pain at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital and released, Wall’s father said Sunday that the four-hour surgery to repair broken bones and other injuries would leave his son unable to walk for at least one year.

“In the next couple days he’ll have to go into inpatient rehab to teach him how to use his hands again and teach him how to walk,” the Rev. Bruce H. Wall said.

Wall, who hosts a Boston radio show, said he would press lawmakers to install clearer signage at the exit’s on and off ramps.

He said the condition of the passenger in his son’s car, Evan G. Williamson, 21, of Brewster, Mass., was “touch-and-go.” Williamson was flown by Life Star helicopter from Lawrence & Memorial Hospital to Yale-New Haven Hospital after suffering life-threatening injuries. The hospital would not release his condition Sunday.

Wall said that after seeing his son’s totaled Oldsmobile, it’s “a miracle he’s alive.”

“The car was crushed like an accordion,” he said.

Despite his son having to face a long recovery, Wall is confident “everything happens for a reason.”

“There’s a reason why everything happens and when he looks at the car and the fact that God spared him and pulled him out of it, it can make a person better … we’re going to pull him into a place where he really surrenders his life and wants his life to count for something,” Wall said.

Wall is best known for his early morning Christian satellite and Internet radio show on Boston Praise Radio. He is also a prominent pastor at Global Ministries Christian Church in Dorchester and neighborhood activist for several of Boston’s communities.

Using his son’s near fatal accident as a catalyst, Wall is preparing a live radio broadcast this week to pose a discussion about wrong-way drivers to his global listeners.

He said he has also reached out to Massachusetts State Gov. Deval Patrick in an effort to begin a regional discussion which he hopes will reach state Sen. Andrew Maynard, D-Stonington.

Maynard has previously asked the Department of Transportation to consider installing clearer signs at highway on and off ramps.

On Sunday, Wall visited the accident site to evaluate the signage for himself.

“We did go up and down the northbound ramp and the southbound ramp. It was hard to figure out what happened and try to reconstruct it without the help of police, but I couldn’t really figure out the signage,” Wall said.

Phone calls to Noordzy’s residence and cell phone were not returned.

Source:  http://www.theday.com/article/20101206/NWS01/312069903/1019&town=