State Police release identity of Route 24 crash victims

The Massachusetts State Police released the identities of those involved in a fatal, four-car accident on Route 24 early Sunday morning.

Lisa Banat, 19, of Mansfield was killed in the crash, as was John LaChapelle, 44, from Tiverton ,R.I.

Police suspect Banat was traveling south in the northbound lane of the highway. The accident ocurred just north of exits 16A and 16B in West Bridgewater near the Easton town line.

The following is a press release from the Massachusetts State Police:

Troop D patrols responded to the crash at 3:55 a.m. on Sunday morning after the State Police barracks in Middleborough began to receive calls from other motorists reporting a wrong-way driver, travelling south on the northbound side of Route 24, north of Exit 16, in West Bridgewater.

On arrival patrols found four vehicles involved, the wrong way vehicle and three others it had struck, one of which had burst into flames.

Debris from the impact was thrown across both sides of the highway, necessitating the closure of the entire highway.

The suspected wrong-way operator, Lisa Banat, 19, of Mansfield was driving a 2010 Toyota Corolla. The Corolla rolled over after striking the pickup truck head on, and then may have been struck by another vehicle. Lisa Banat suffered severe injuries and was pronounced dead on-scene.

The vehicle that caught fire was a 1999 GMC pickup being operated by John LaChapelle, 44, from Tiverton,R.I. His passenger was Kim LaChapelle, 42, also from Tiverton, R.I. The male was trapped in the burning vehicle and was deceased at the scene. The woman escaped from the vehicle. Preliminary reports were that she had minor injuries. Per State Police policy we do not comment on the relationship of involved parties. 

The third vehicle involved was a 2002 Chevy Tahoe operated by Kevin Alexander, 36, from Fall River. He was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton with non-life threatening injuries.

The fourth vehicle was a 2003 Chevy Cavalier operated by Richard Carreira, 66, of Swansea. He was also transported to Good Samaritan for evaluation of possible minor injuries.

The facts and circumstances of the crash, including why and how the Corolla’s driver got onto Route 24 going the wrong way, remain under investigation by Troop D of the State Police and our Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section (CARS). CARS is in the process of analyzing physical evidence to reconstruct the sequence of events leading to and during the crash. 

Southbound lanes were opened first, by 7:00 a.m., and northbound was entirely opened at 10:25 a.m.