A 21-year-old woman who was ejected from a Jeep in a July Fourth crash on Martha’s Vineyard has died, and three other people remain hospitalized with injuries, State Police said Monday.
David Procopio, a State Police spokesman, said in an e-mail that Heather LaFlamme of Berlin, N.H., died of her injuries Saturday at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Her family could not be reached for comment Monday night.
LaFlamme was riding in the back seat of a Jeep traveling southbound about about 2 p.m. on Barnes Road Extension in Edgartown when the driver — Thomas C. Jones, 51, of Dummer, N.H. — pulled onto the right shoulder and began turning left in an apparent U-turn, Procopio said. As the Jeep turned, a sport utility vehicle, also traveling southbound, broadsided the Jeep, causing it to roll over, State Police said.
Procopio said the 2012 Jeep Wrangler, which was registered in New Hampshire, was a model that had its steering wheel on the right side of the vehicle.
State Police are investigating whether the placement of the steering wheel affected Jones’s vision when he attempted the U-turn and whether the speed of the second SUV contributed to the accident, among other possible factors, Procopio. said
“No determination has yet been made as to whether these factors contributed to the crash,” he said. “We continue to analyze physical evidence and witness statements.”
Two other passengers in the Jeep — Margaret Jones, 51, and Seth Jones, 26 — were in fair and serious conditions, respectively, Monday night at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, a hospital spokeswoman said. Seth Jones is the son of Margaret and Thomas Jones.
State Police are investigating whether any of the people involved in the crash were wearing seat belts.
Procopio said LaFlamme was a friend of Seth Jones and was vacationing with his family at the time. Procopio said Thomas Jones remained in serious condition at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital on Monday.
The driver of the second SUV — Benjamin T. Johnson, 19, of Cambridge — was treated and released at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, State Police said. He could not be reached for comment Monday night.
“The ongoing investigation will determine whether criminal charges and civil motor vehicle citations are warranted,” Procopio said.