BURRILLVILLE – Two people were killed and two others seriously injured, police said, when two cars collided head-on on Route 102 on the hill above the Mr. Doughboy and Bella’s restaurants Thursday afternoon.
Police Chief Stephen J. Lynch, declined to say at the scene if anyone had been killed in the 3:28 p.m. crash that destroyed a white sedan and caused heavy front-end damage to a mini van, offering only that all the parties involved had suffered serious injuries.
“I’m not going to comment on the injuries,” Lynch said while noting that police were still attempting to contact the relatives of those involved.
Later Thursday, police confirmed that there were two fatalities. The names of the victims were not released.
Lynch said two MedFlight helicopters were called to transport victims from the scene and landed at Wright’s Farm off Route 102.
Three of the victims were riding in the white sedan reported to be heading north toward North Smithfield, and a fourth person reported to be riding alone in the mini van was heading south toward Glocester, police told The Call.
The impact of the two vehicles appeared to indicate speed was involved in the crash and Lynch said investigators were looking at all potential factors for a cause of the crash, including speed and texting.
“We are looking at all the circumstances in regards to this accident,” Lynch said.
Lynch declined to provide the ages or genders of the victims while family contacts were still pending, but repeated serious injuries had been suffered by all of he victims.
The crash left pieces of the vehicles in the roadway and the white sedan without much of its front-end. Rescue personnel used the Jaws-of-Life to remove the roof of the car and pieces of the roof supports could be seen jutting into the air from the heavily crushed wreckage.
Thursday’s crash on Route 102 follows a July 5 accident in the same general area that claimed the life of Massiel Ortiz, 37, of Providence. Ortiz’ two daughters suffered non-life threatening injuries in that crash as did the driver of the second vehicle and his child.
The two-lane road winding across hills and passing through major intersections leading to Burrillville’s different villages has seen many other fatal crashes in the past.
Lynch said Thursday that he was looking at speeding on Route 102 as a potential problem requiring greater attention by police.
“We are very concerned about the speed of traffic on this section of Route 102,” Lynch said.
The local department was working with state police on investigating the crash and Lynch said more information on what police find as possible crash factors will be forthcoming.
Susan Blanchard, 65, a Smithfield resident on her way to visit a Burrillville friend, said she believed speeding may well have been a factor in the crash given the way people drive on Route 102.
“Oh I’ve seen them drive fast and they pass on the right and they pass on the left,” Blanchard said.