UPDATED: Mass. man charged after hitting barrier at Bedford toll plaza
A vehicle is loaded onto a tow truck as police personnel watch after a crash at the toll plaza in Bedford Sunday evening. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)
BEDFORD ? A Massachusetts man is facing a charge of reckless driving after the SUV he was driving struck a concrete divider at the Bedford toll plaza, injuring himself and six children and causing heavy traffic delays on the F.E. Everett Turnpike Sunday evening.
State police dispatchers said a crash with many injuries was called in just before 6 p.m. Sunday on the Everett Turnpike southbound, near the Bedford toll plaza.
According to state police, a 2007 gray Chevy Suburban operated by David Sullivan, 52, of Sherborn, Mass., was approaching the #5 EZ Pass toll booth lane when he drove straight into a concrete structure that divides the lanes. After hitting the concrete structure the SUV continued through the toll booth, hitting a second concrete barrier.
As the vehicle cleared the toll booth it rolled over and landed on its passenger side, then caught fire. Several bystanders assisted in pulling the occupants out and putting out the fire.
Injured in the crash were Sullivan and six passengers, all children ranging in age between 10 and 16.
Bedford Fire Lt. Mark Shatney said the occupants were taken to Elliot Hospital and Catholic Medical Center in Manchester with non-life threatening injuries. Merrimack and Manchester dispatched ambulances to the scene, along with Bedford.
The vehicle was deemed a total loss and towed from the scene.
The Department of Transportation sent out alerts that the left toll lanes northbound and southbound were closed at 6:15 p.m. Sunday. Southbound traffic was restricted to three lanes for about an hour while the vehicle was removed.
As of 7:10 p.m., emergency crews had cleared the scene and all lanes were reopened.
The accident remains under investigation by State Police. Sullivan is currently facing a charge of reckless driving, though additional charges could follow. Sullivan will be arraigned April 10 in Merrimack Circuit Court.
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