LUNENBURG – A three-vehicle collision on Route 2A near the intersection of Route 13 on Thursday afternoon sent three people to the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Worcester with serious injuries, one of them by Boston MedFlight.
According to Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Sullivan, the call reporting the accident in front of 367 Massachusetts Ave., came in at 3:05 p.m., and the first unit arrived on the scene a couple minutes later.
The drivers of all three cars were trapped in their vehicles, one of them, a man, pinned for about 40 minutes, Sullivan said. That driver suffered injuries extensive enough to have to be flown by medical helicopter, while the others, a man and a woman, were sent to the hospital by ambulance, he said.
The Jaws of Life had to be brought in from Townsend in order to free all of the drivers, Sullivan said, as well as extra MedStar paramedic units. All of the drivers suffered multiple injuries, he said.
Fire officials cleared a spot for the helicopter to land in the left-hand side of the Walmart parking lot at nearby Lunenburg Crossing. Several onlookers lined up their cars, at least 15 of them, in the parking lanes nearest to the island barrier to watch as the victim was loaded into the medical helicopter and flown away. Many took pictures of the scene with their cellphone cameras and quickly dispersed afterward.
The Fitchburg Fire Department assisted at the landing site while Leominster covered the Lunenburg Fire Department during the incident, Sullivan said.
The accident is still under investigation by Lunenburg police.
According to Lt. James Marino, a preliminary assessment of the scene led police to believe a green Infiniti G20 driven by the man requiring the MedFlight was traveling west on Route 2A when it somehow crossed the double yellow line and created a chain-reaction collision with a silver Jeep Cherokee and a silver Toyota Camry, both of which traveling east.
Further investigation may determine differently, however, he said.
The identities of the drivers had not been released Thursday due to the severity of the injuries, Marino said. According to Sgt. Thomas Gammel, who went to the hospital later to speak with the injured people, the driver of the Jeep is a 75-year-old male from Athol and the Toyota was driven by 48-year-old female from Groton. Both remain in the hospital, and he did not release their names.
The driver of the Infiniti is a 39-year-old male but the man’s name and hometown were still unknown because he was still in surgery Thursday night, Gammel said.