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Two suffer life-threatening injuries in Arborway crash

A sport utility vehicle carrying four teenagers crossed the center line on the Arborway in Jamaica Plain on Friday afternoon and flipped over, striking a pickup truck occupied by two men in a devastating crash that left several people with serious injuries, officials said.

All six people involved in the accident, which occurred at about 2 p.m., were taken to area hospitals, State Police said in a statement. The crash occurred on the busy thoroughfare near St. Joseph Street.

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State Police said authorities were investigating what caused the SUV with the teens inside to cross the center line. Troopers said the occupants of the SUV were all males.

The 18-year-old driver suffered serious injuries, according to State Police. A 13-year-old passenger also sustained serious injuries, a 14-year-old had critical injuries, and a 15-year-old suffered injuries that were not life-threatening, State Police said.

The truck driver was in critical condition Friday night, and his 34-year-old passenger’s condition was not known, State Police said.

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Troopers did not provide the truck driver’s age. None of the victims’ names were released.

Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, said it was too early to determine whether speed, texting, or drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash, which drew onlookers to the scene and created a traffic nightmare in the congested area.

“No charges have been sought at this time and we do not expect them imminently,” Wark said in a statement. “This is a major collision with many victims and witnesses, and investigators will need time to examine the evidence from many sources before making a charging decision.”

Both badly damaged vehicles — a 2003 Mazda Tribute and a 2004 Ford pickup — were visible on the side of the Arborway at 5 p.m., along with a large amount of debris. Investigators were photographing the scene, and two flatbed trucks were on hand to take the vehicles away.

Among the onlookers was Meeta Patel, 34, who lives across the street from the crash site. “It’s horrific,” said Patel, who was not home at the time. “People here drive very fast.”

Patty Lieber, 59, who lives nearby, echoed that sentiment and urged motorists to be more cautious.

“You just can’t imagine looking at something like that,” she said, adding that drivers treat the Arborway like a “speedway.”

The Arborway was shut down into the evening between the Shea Rotary and Centre Street. It reopened at 8:50 p.m., State Police said.

As a result of the accident, traffic was also heavy on Washington Street in Jamaica Plain and Roslindale; Hyde Park Avenue in Roslindale; and South and Centre streets in Jamaica Plain; and the Casey Overpass was closed in both directions, the mayor’s office said.

The gridlock affected many drivers. Ramon Nunez, 49, of Roslindale, said he was stuck in traffic for a half-hour about a mile from the crash site and finally parked his car and started walking. He said at the accident scene at about 5:30 p.m. that he would probably walk back for his car, though he had considered walking home.

Lilly Anderson, 15, a student at Boston Latin School, said at the crash site that she and the teen victims have mutual friends, and that at least some of the teens were Boston Latin Academy students.

“We don’t know them that well,” Anderson said, adding thatthe wreckage was disturbing. “It makes me scared, just really scared to see it,” she said.

Globe correspondents Melissa Hanson and Nicholas Jacques contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.
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