UPDATE: Barrington man dead, several injured in car crash on Mt. Hope bridge


One man died and several other people were transported to Newport Hospital following a head-on crash on the Mt. Hope Bridge at approximately 7 p.m. on Saturday.

According to Rhode Island State Police, Barrington resident Paul L. Matthews, 63, of Heritage Road was pronounced dead at the scene after the van he was driving crashed head-on into another vehicle on the Mt. Hope Bridge.

A passenger in his van, Lenor C. Andrade, of Long Lane, Warren, was transported to Rhode Island Hospital, where she is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Bristol police were called to the bridge at 6:45 p.m. to assist with the accident that occurred on the Portsmouth side of the span.

According to reports, the van was travelling south across the bridge when it veered across the double yellow lines and struck an oncoming car, driven by John Kelchner, 65, of Robin Road, Portsmouth.

Mr. Kelchner and his wife, Susan, 58, were transported to Rhode Island Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Other passengers in the vehicle, James and Ann Hitchen of Bay View Avenue, Portsmouth, were transported to Newport Hospital, where they were treated and released.

The span was closed and traffic was diverted to routes 24 and 195 while emergency crews from Porsmouth and Bristol responded to the scene.

The investigation is being handled by Rhode Island State Police. According to State Police Corporal Don C. Shelhart, it does not appear that alcohol was a factor in the crash.


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