A 19-year-old woman driving the wrong way on Route 24 in West Bridgewater struck three vehicles Sunday morning in an accident that resulted in her death and also claimed the life of a man behind the wheel of a pickup truck, State Police said.
“The crash was horrific, first and foremost because of the human toll,” David Procopio, a spokesman for the State Police, said in an e-mail.
He said the accident occurred about 4 a.m. on the northbound side of the highway, where investigators believe the woman, from Mansfield, was mistakenly heading south.
State Police withheld the names of the people involved in the crash, pending family notification.
Procopio said the 2010 Toyota Corolla the woman was driving struck a 1999 GMC pickup, which burst into flames, killing the driver, a 44-year-old man from Tiverton, R.I. His 42-year-old female passenger, also from Tiverton, escaped with minor injuries.
The drivers of the two other vehicles that were struck, a 36-year-old man in a 2002 Chevy Tahoe and a 66-year-old Swansea man behind the wheel of a 2003 Chevy Cavalier, were taken to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton with injuries that were not life-threatening, Procopio said.
He said State Police are investigating what caused the teenager to begin traveling south on the northbound side of the highway. It is too early to say whether alcohol or speed was a factor, he said.
Authorities were also investigating whether occupants of the vehicles were wearing seat belts.
Four vehicles were damaged in the crash, Procopio said, and debris was strewn across both sides of the highway.
Travel lanes began reopening on the southbound side by 7 a.m., and the northbound side was cleared by about 10:25 a.m., according to Procopio.
In a separate accident, Zahir Khan, 64, of Salem, N.H., was killed Sunday morning in a one-car crash on Interstate 495 in Andover, according to State Police. He suffered a medical incident, which most likely caused his death, Procopio said.