Black ice may have caused fatal crashes

State Police said yesterday that black ice may have contributed to two fatal accidents 40 miles apart, on Route 1A in Revere and Interstate 495 in Mansfield yesterday morning.

“We are investigating ice on the road as a potential contributing factor to both crashes,’’ said David Procopio, a State Police spokesman.

Two people died and a third person was seriously injured in the crashes.


Although the National Weather Service had issued a warning about patches of black ice, state transportation officials said yesterday that the I-495 stretch had been salted about two hours before that accident. The Route 1A spot was not treated until after the crash.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

“These are not areas that are common problems,’’ said Sara Lavoie, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. “There were no reports of icing in the area until after the incident. They are generally very dry areas.’’

The first crash occurred around 6:30 a.m., on I-495 southbound near Exit 11 in Mansfield. A state trooper had pulled over to investigate after a car lost control and crashed into the median strip when a pickup lost control and flipped over several times, Procopio said. Two people were ejected from the truck, which kept flipping until it came to a rest against the trooper’s cruiser.

The driver, Gary Ostrom, 53, of West Barnstable, was taken by ambulance to Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, where he was pronounced dead.

The passenger, identified as Joshua Ostrom, 19, also of West Barnstable, was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital with serious injuries.


The trooper, Robert Crocker, who was not hurt, began performing CPR on one of the victims, and two other troopers arrived soon afterward and attended to the other victim. The driver of the car that hit the median was not seriously injured, police said.

State Police called for a sanding truck after the crash.

The accident in Revere occurred less than one hour later, when a car crashed into an abutment of the General Edwards Bridge on the northbound side of Route 1A and burst into flames, State Police said. The driver, Wayne Diggs, 50, of Chelsea, lost control of his 2005 Dodge Ram and struck the gate of the drawbridge. The truck caught fire and became engulfed by flames, police said. Diggs was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lavoie said that section of Route 1A in Revere was treated with sand after the crash.

John M. Guilfoil can be reached at