1 dead, 1 critical after Nashua overnight crash

A woman passenger was killed and the driver critically injured late Saturday night when their car left the road and struck a tree across from 5 Searles Road, police and fire officials said.

Police said both the driver, a 47-year-old man, and the female passenger, 55, are from Massachusetts, but their identities were being withheld until family notifications are complete.

Deputy Fire Chief Mike O’Brien said firefighters on Engine 6 were returning to Conant Road Station from another call when they came upon the crash scene at 11:21 p.m. The vehicle, which police said was headed east on Searles Road, veered off the road and struck a mid-size tree roughly 200 feet before the intersection of Searles and Middle Dunstable roads.

O’Brien said the crew notified police and called for a ladder truck and ambulances as they tended to the victims, both of whom he described as “critically injured and in need of extrication using rescue tools.”

The woman was transported to St. Joseph Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said. The driver was initially treated at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center then transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where he was listed in critical condition early Sunday, police said.

O’Brien said in his report that the road was icy at the time of the crash, but police are investigating if road conditions were a factor.

Throughout Saturday, officials received several reports of accidents, all less-serious in nature, resulting from the day’s snowfall and freezing drizzle.

On Sunday morning, a car door and various smaller motor vehicle parts lay strewn near the tree, the trunk of which was stripped of bark in places from the impact.

Police said the department’s Collision Reconstruction Unit is investigating the accident.