PORTSMOUTH — A Taunton man whose car veered into oncoming West Main Road traffic died of his injuries in Rhode Island Hospital.
Portsmouth Police Lt. Brian Peters said Friday afternoon that police had learned of the death of Joseph Hayes, 32. The cause of the accident, including why his car also hit a car at a stop light at West Main and Green End Avenue in Middletown a short while earlier, remains under investigation.
Three other people were hurt in the three-vehicle head on collision on West Main Road near King's Grant just before 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. The road was closed for about an hour while rescuers tended to the injured and cleared the damage.
Crews with Portsmouth Rescue 1 and Engine 1 responded to find four injured people including Mr. Hayes who was still trapped in a vehicle. He was extricated in about 14 minutes, according to Capt. Michael O'Brien of the Portsmouth Fire Department.
Portsmouth Rescue 2, Tiverton Rescue 2, and Middletown Rescue 1 were also dispatched to the Portsmouth scene in response to the number of injured.
Portsmouth Rescue 1 transported Mr. Hayes to Newport (transferred to Rhode Island after attempted stabilization), and Portsmouth Rescue 2 transported a patient with moderate injuries to St . Anne’s Hospital in Fall River.
Tiverton and Middletown ambulances transported one patient each to Charlton Memorial with minor injuries.
Lt. Peters said the investigation revealed that Mr. Hayes' 2001 Volkswagen Jetta was headed north on West Main Road when it crossed over the double yellow lines and sideswiped a 2006 Toyota Solara being driven south by Suzette Wilcox, 49, of Warren.
After colliding with the Solara, the Volkswagen then struck head-on a southbound 2007 Chevy Silverado pick-up truck driven by Andrew Muller, 53, of Portsmouth. A fourth vehicle, a 2007 Toyota Prius driven by Margaret Pimenta, 62, of somerset, was travelling behind the Silverado and was also involved in the collision.
The other accident victims were all treated and released for what were described as minor injuries.
The cause of the accident remains under investigation by the Portsmouth Police Accident Reconstruction Unit and Portsmouth Police Detectives. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Portsmouth Police at (401) 683-0994.
A total of 11 firefighter / EMTs responded; the last unit cleared at 6:37 a.m.