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Crashes in Canton, Springfield leave 2 dead

Two people were killed in separate early-morning car crashes Sunday when an alleged drunk driver hit a parked tractor-trailer in Springfield and a vehicle turned over in Canton, State Police said.

Moti K. Kuikel, 25, of West Springfield, died after the Nissan Altima in which he was a passenger crashed into a parked tractor-trailer in an eastbound lane of Interstate 291 in Springfield around 1 a.m., according to State Police.

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Troopers charged the driver of the car, Rudra P. Kafley, 22, of West Springfield, with operating under the influence of alcohol and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

Kafley was treated and released from Baystate Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries.

The unidentified driver of the tractor-trailer had stopped the truck in the breakdown lane near Exit 4 to inspect a mechanical issue, State Police said.

The truck driver, who was unharmed, was standing outside the vehicle when the Altima crashed into it.

State Police and the Hampden District Attorney’s office are investigating the crash.

About 2 a.m., a car rolled over in the northbound lane of Interstate 95 near Exit 11 in Canton, State Police said.

The Nissan Versa was carrying five people, and one of the passengers, Germaine C. Stokes, 45, of Tewksbury, was taken to Norwood Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, State Police said.

Several other passengers and the driver were taken to Norwood Hospital and Boston Medical Center. Some passengers had serious injuries, State Police said.

The crash shut down two lanes of I-95, which were reopened about 4:30 a.m. State Police said the cause of the crash is under investigation.

Four other people were hospitalized following a crash about 3:15 p.m. Sunday that temporarily closed Route 49 in Sturbridge, firefighters said.

A medical helicopter was unable to transport two of the victims who had critical injuries because of a thunderstorm, the Sturbridge Fire Department said in a statement.

Instead, ambulances from Sturbridge and Charlton took them to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

On Saturday night, six people were hospitalized, including two Whitman police officers, when the officers’ cruiser collided with another car while responding to a call, police said.

The officers were heading east on Temple Street when they collided with a vehicle traveling north on Bedford Street, Whitman police said in a statement.

A third vehicle waiting at the westbound traffic light on Temple Street was then struck by the vehicle that collided with the cruiser.

The officers were responding to a burglar alarm at Whitman Center Laundromat on West Street with lights flashing and sirens on, police said.

Six people were taken to the hospital, including a pregnant woman, police said. All are expected to survive.

Todd Feathers can be reached at todd.feathers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @ToddFeathers. Nicholas Jacques can be reached at nicholas.jacques@globe.com.

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