Snowbanks eyed in deadly bridge crash investigation

AMESBURY — Authorities said speed and sloped snowbanks along the side of the roadway are among a list of possible factors in the accident that killed a North Hampton, N.H., man Monday night, when his vehicle plunged from an Interstate 95 bridge into the Merrimack River in Amesbury.

The crash that killed 64-year-old Charles Moncousky remained under investigation Wednesday, according to David Procopio, spokesman for Massachusetts State Police.

“They are looking at everything,” Procopio said.

Moncousky’s body was pulled out of his submerged 2002 Toyota Camry, found in 20 feet of water nearly three hours after it went off the Whittier Bridge, police said.

The crash occurred shortly after 10:15 p.m. Monday.

State Police received several eyewitness reports of Moncousky’s car going over the northbound side of the bridge Monday night. Continuous reports set off a massive search-and-rescue effort involving patrol units, the State Police dive team, the State Police Marine Unit and the State Police Air Wing.

Deanne Corcoran, an Amesbury resident, told the Herald she was on the Whittier Bridge heading south on Interstate 95 toward Newburyport on the night of the accident.

“I was there when the state troopers were coming out to determine if there was indeed an accident as reported by a couple eye witnesses,” Corcoran wrote in an e-mail to the Herald. “(I) then was headed north on the bridge when they had the helicopter, divers, tow trucks, etc., 45 minutes later.”

Corcoran said she was concerned about the amount of snow banked on the bridge at the time of the crash.

“So many of us had just been saying how, with all the hardened snow banked on the sides of the bridge, any car that caught it could easily be launched over,” she wrote.

Procopio said the theory about how the high snow banks could have helped launch the car off the roadway has been discussed by police and in the public domain. Procopio said investigators want to know how the vehicle got to the side of the road, close enough to hit the snowbank.