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Rehoboth teen killed in late-night accident in Somerset

SOMERSET — A family in Rehoboth is grieving after a teenager from the town died in a car crash in Somerset late Sunday night.

Police have identified the victim in last night’s fatal accident on Lafayette Street as Timothy Swass, 19, of Rehoboth.

Swass was alone behind the wheel of a 1993 Ford Probe during the fatal crash, when the vehicle slammed into three utility poles and smashed into a parked car on Lafayette Street in Somerset, Somerset Police Chief George McNeil said.

McNeil said speed appears to have been a factor, adding that the preliminary investigation does not show that Swass applied his vehicle’s brakes before the crash.
“We haven’t got anything back from toxicology on whether he was distracted,” McNeil said. “The only obvious thing was speed was a factor.”

The Somerset police and fire departments responded to several 911 calls reporting a car that struck the utility poles in front of 254 Lafayette St. The responding officers and firefighters found two poles snapped in half. Swass’ car also struck the third pole before bouncing off and hitting a vehicle in the driveway, McNeil said.

Somerset firefighters removed Swass from his vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene, McNeil said.

The Massachusetts State Police Accident Investigation team responded to the scene to assist the Somerset Police Department.

The car Swass was driving was traveling east on Lafayette, toward Route 138, and was coming off an S turn.

Gary Braz, of 319 Lafayette St., directly across the street, said he was awakened by the crash and, when he looked out his window, saw the two cars on the front lawn at 254 Lafayette St. He said the other car had been parked in his neighbor’s driveway and was knocked onto the lawn.

Braz said Gary said people from farther up west on Lafayette Street came down to the accident scene and said they had seen the car traveling very quickly, at an estimated 100 mph.

“They said the car just flew by,” Braz said. “On a street like this, with a curve like this, you’re not going to make it doing 100 mph.”

McNeil said he believed that Swass was living with grandparents in Rehoboth. McNeil also said that Swass may have lived in Somerset prior to that.

Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District Superintendent Anthony Azar confirmed that Swass was not a graduate of Dighton-Rehoboth, but he also offered comment about the tragic death.

“This is heartbreaking news at any level,” Azar said. “In the event of a situation like this, or something similar, we provide counseling opportunities for all students. We hope and pray that this situation never happens to anyone.”

“I know the family is grieving,” McNeil said. “Let the family grieve.”

Source: Herald News