State Police Seeking Second SUV in Fatal Crash Investigation

The Massachusetts State Police, who continue to investigate the May 13 crash on Route 1 in Saugus that claimed the life of a Wilmington man, are seeking information about another vehicle that may have been present at the time of the incident.

State Police are trying to locate a silver Grand Jeep Cherokee sport utility vehicle that was on Rte. 1 southbound in Saugus at the time of the crash, which occurred shortly after 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13 between the Walnut Street and Lynn Fells Parkway exits. A photo of the Jeep Cherokee is pictured above. Anyone who recalls seeing this vehicle in that area that day, or who has information about the vehicle or its driver, is urged to call State Police at (978) 745-8908 or (978) 538-6161.

State Police previously asked for the public’s help in locating a silver or gray Honda CRV sport utility vehicle, specifically, an older model with a spare tire compartment attached to the rear hatch door. This vehicle may also have been on Rte. 1 south in Saugus at the time of the crash, and the request for information on this vehicle also remains in effect.

The request for information on the new vehicle, the Cherokee, is now added to that call for the public’s assistance, as information on both vehicles could be crucial to the investigation. Neither vehicle necessarily has any damage.

Preliminary investigation suggests that either of these vehicles may have been present on the highway when a commercial vehicle, which was traveling southbound in the right lane, suddenly swerved to its left. When that commercial vehicle swerved, it impacted a paving dump truck traveling southbound in the middle lane. As a result of that impact, the paving dump truck spun out of control, rolled toward its passenger side, and hit the steel ribbon guardrail before coming to rest on its wheels perpendicular across the highway.

The driver of the paving truck, John R. Thebeau Jr., 62, of Wilmington, was determined to be deceased at the scene. The driver of the commercial vehicle was not injured.

Troopers responded to the crash scene on Route 1 southbound, between the Walnut Street and Lynn Fells Parkway exits, after State Police received multiple 911 calls from other motorists at 2:08 p.m. on May 13. The crash investigation is being conducted by Troop A of the Massachusetts State Police with the assistance of the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, the State Police Crime Scene Services Section, and the State Police Detective Unit for Essex County.

No further information is being released at this time.