New details released in fatal crash

State Police continue to search for the driver of a vehicle that may have contributed to a deadly crash.

The Sunday night accident on I-91 in Longmeadow left a 17-year-old dead and snarled traffic for miles.

“When troopers arrived on scene the vehicle was engulfed in flames, and the operator was outside of the vehicle in the roadway,” recalled Mass. State Police Sergeant Al Joubert.

Road debris is something we’ve all seen on the highway, and State Police get calls about that debris on a daily basis.

However, last night was different. The road debris was couch cushions that caused a young driver to swerve into a tractor trailer truck.

His car then burst into flames.

“When you put anything in your vehicle, Mass. General Law requires that it’s secured,” Joubert explains, adding, “You have to anticipate that when you get up to speed on the highway, 55-60 miles per hour that things easily can be blown out of the back of your vehicle. Once it lands on the highway, other drivers have to react to that.”

Sergeant Joubert says tractor trailers are rarely the cause of debris on the highway. More often, pickup trucks or utility trailers are responsible for dropping cargo.

Now, the Massachusetts State Police are searching for a dark-colored, open-back pickup truck. It was seen by witnesses pulled over near mile marker 2.2 with a couch in the bed.

That pickup truck left the area and it wasn’t long after that the car and truck collided.

“We believe that a pickup truck may have been involved in dropping the road debris,” explained Joubert.

Joubert says they’ve already received calls about the truck. He adds that charges could be filed, but it all depends on what thy find as they conclude their investigation.

Joubert adds that the Longmeadow curve is a dangerous part of I-91 because of the lane drop, a sizable drop in speed limit, and several exit ramps.