Fatal North Main Street car crash under investigation

by Town Reminder

The underbelly of a silver Toyota Camry is facing outward from a garage of 197 North Main Street into which it crashed Wednesday evening after striking a tree.

Fatal North Main Street car crash under investigation
By Kristin Will
Staff Writer

SOUTH HADLEY – A car crash Wednesday evening in which a vehicle struck a tree and tumbled into the garage of 197 North Main Street has resulted in a fatality.
A male individual, rumored to be from Agawam but unconfirmed by police at this time, was driving a silver Toyota Camry at 6:45 p.m. southbound on North Main Street at a high rate of speed, according to South Hadley Police Detective Mark Dominick, when he struck a large tree located on 203 North Main Street.
The car apparently became airborne and rolled continuously until it forcefully wedged itself into the left side of the garage of 197 North Main Street, sending vehicle parts into neighboring yards.
The homeowners were about to sit down for dinner in the kitchen at the time of the crash but decided to eat in a different room that evening, they said. “We heard a loud bang,” said homeowner Mike Fern. “The whole house shook. There was a flash and a loud bang.”
Fire District No. 1 responded with fire engines No. 1 and 3 and their ambulance. Fire District No. 2 responded with their rescue truck, ambulance and fire engine. The Granby Fire Department was called as well for mutual aid.
Fire District No. 1 Chief Robert Authier said fire fighters from District No. 2 shored up one side of the garage while fire fighters from District No. 1 used the Jaws of Life to extricate the operator, who was alive at that time, from the twisted vehicle and garage. The man was stabilized and transported to Baystate Medical Center where he later succumbed to his injuries.
The force of the severe impact to the residence detached the garage from the front of the home and sent the vehicle’s battery flying into the home’s attic. The vehicle’s engine came to rest in the home’s backyard.
Neighbors on scene said the impact sounded like a thunderstorm. One woman said she could hear the incident from her Highland Avenue residence. Debris was strewn about the road and neighboring lawns for hundreds of feet.
The car is wedged deeply into the garage on top of the homeowners’ second vehicle. Interstate Towing responded to the scene to assist in extricating the Toyota from the garage. Authier said the garage roof will be cut and removed in order to wedge the car out.
The Massachusetts State Police Accident Reconstruction Team is on site reconstructing the accident.
The cause of the crash is unknown at this time.