State Police and good Samaritans assist occupants trapped in vehicle

AUBURN – Troopers from the State Police Barracks in Holden responded to reports of a two-vehicle motor vehicle crash on Route 290 eastbound near the Auburn-Worcester line. State Police received reports that one of the involved vehicles had driven off the road and rolled over into a marsh.

Preliminary investigation by Trooper Daniel A. Riopel indicates that David W. Conerly, 46, of Holland, was operating a 1997 Lexus LS400 when he changed lanes and struck the rear of a 1998 Subaru Forester being operated by Cheyanne E. Wilson, 18, of Webster. After the impact, the Subaru lost control, went approximately 50 feet off the roadway, and rolled over into a marsh area adjacent to the highway.

Several witnesses and concerned citizens stopped to help the crash victims. Three men entered the swamp while a fourth provided tools in an effort to free the trapped occupants. State Police Lieutenant David Keefe arrived on scene shortly thereafter and he too entered the swamp and joined the rescue effort.

Wilson, the Subaru’s operator, was removed from the car. Her male passenger, Christopher Cote, 20, of Worcester, had to reposition himself in the vehicle as the front end was submerged. He was removed by the rescuers and both occupants were transported to the University of Massachusetts Medical Center-Lakeside for treatment of minor injuries.

State Police are citing Conerly for a marked lanes violation based on witness statements that he changed lanes and struck the Subaru.

The crash remains under investigation by Troop C of the Massachusetts State Police.