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I-95 wrong-way driver identified as 56-year-old Conn. woman

Union Leader Correspondent

August 28. 2012 12:26AM
A state police trooper photographs one of the vehicles that rolled over into the median on Interstate 95 after a woman drove south in the northbound side of the highway through Portsmouth and Greenland. (Jason Schreiber/Union Leader Correspondent)
State Police this afternoon identified the deceased driver of the vehicle that traveled the wrong way on Interstate 95 Monday evening as Rose M. Vitiello, 56, of New Haven, Conn.

The earlier story follows:

GREENLAND - A woman died Monday night when police say she drove the wrong way on Interstate 95 and caused a string of crashes involving as many as six vehicles.

State Police Trooper Alexander Davis said the woman is believed to have begun driving southbound in the northbound lanes of the interstate around the New Hampshire-Maine border. She drove for an estimated six miles before crashing under the Ocean Road bridge in Greenland around 10 p.m., Davis said.

One vehicle in her path rolled over into the median near the Ocean Road bridge, while another flipped about a mile or two north, Davis said. Several other vehicles also crashed at different spots along the interstate from Portsmouth to Greenland.

'These were more secondary accidents. They were vehicles that either hit the debris caused by the major accident or just kind of clipped the other one,' Davis said.

State Police Troop A received numerous reports about the vehicle as troopers responded. In a press release issued Tuesday morning, police said that as the vehicle approached exit 3, it struck a vehicle that was traveling northbound. The vehicle that was struck entered the grass median and subsequently rolled over. The female driver of the vehicle was transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The driver in the vehicle heading the wrong way then struck a second vehicle and continued traveling southbound, according to police. The driver of the second vehicle that was struck was not injured, police said.

Police said the vehicle, a 2010 Chevrolet Aveo, then continued traveling southbound in the northbound travel lanes and entered Greenland, where the Aveo then collided head-on with a third vehicle. The third vehicle, a 2008 Volkswagen Jetta driven by Kathlyn Garvey, 22, of Northborough, Mass., went into the grass median and rolled over. Garvey was transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital where she was treated and released for minor injuries, police said.

The Aveo came to a final rest in the right breakdown lane on Interstate 95 northbound. The female driver was transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Police have not released the driver's identity.

Shortly after the third collision, two other vehicles traveling northbound struck debris in the roadway from the previous collision and sustained damage. Neither of the drivers were injured.

Interstate 95 northbound was closed just before 11 p.m. and reopened fully by 3 Tuesday morning.

The accidents are being investigated by Trooper Brian Gacek of the New Hampshire State Police/Troop A and members of the New Hampshire State Police Technical Accident Reconstruction Unit. Anyone with information is asked to contact Trooper Gacek at 223-8490.

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