Posted: 08/24/2022 1:29:38 PM
Modified: 08/24/2022 1:26:02 PM
A driver was transported to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Mass., after a single-car accident on Route 119 in Rindge on Wednesday morning.
Rindge Fire and Police were dispatched to the area at 1524 Route 119 at approximately 7:26 p.m. after receiving multiple reports of a high speed accident. Initial reports indicated there was a single occupant with unknown injuries, and secondary reports indicated the vehicle was on fire and the driver was trapped.
Upon arrival, first responders spotted the vehicle in the tree line on the west side of the road. It was not on fire, but the engine block, about 15 feet away, was in flames. The Rindge Fire Department extinguished the fire.
The driver, who was identified as 24-year-old Winchester resident Nathaniel Shay, was trapped in the heavily damaged vehicle, police said. Members of Rindge Fire and Rescue and Jaffrey Fire and Rescue pulled him out of the vehicle using the Jaws of Life tool.
A MedFlight was requested, but was not flying due to weather conditions. Instead, Jaffrey-Rindge Memorial Ambulance transported Shay to UMass Memorial Medical Center. The extent of his injuries was not known as of Wednesday afternoon.
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation was asked to respond to the scene to help with the road closure.
Police say the initial investigation determined that Shay’s 2017 Mazda 6 was traveling eastbound on Highway 119 in Rindge. Police said multiple witnesses said they saw the vehicle traveling at high speeds while passing numerous vehicles on double solid lines and nearly causing multiple head-on collisions with multiple westbound vehicles.
Just before 1524 US Route 119, the vehicle lost control and skidded on the roadway, hitting a guardrail on the westbound shoulder and becoming partially airborne. The vehicle continued down the embankment into a heavily wooded area, striking several trees while still in flight, before coming to a stop in an upright position. The vehicle sustained heavy damage, with vehicle parts scattered throughout the area.
No other vehicles or passengers were involved in the crash, police said.
Gauthier’s Auto Services of Jaffrey provided recovery and towing of the vehicle. The debris field was extensive, police said, resulting in a lengthy cleanup by a large Gauthier crew. The vehicle was towed to Cliff’s Auto Body & Repair.
Rindge Police, Rindge Fire and Rindge Rescue were assisted at the scene by Jaffrey-Rindge Memorial Ambulance, Jaffrey Fire, Jaffrey Rescue, Jaffrey Police, New Hampshire DOT and Rindge Animal Control Officer Larry Harris. Route 119 was closed to traffic for approximately 30 minutes during the extrication and scene investigation.
While police say the initial investigation indicates speeding is a likely contributing factor, the crash is still under investigation by the Rindge Police Department. Witnesses with additional information are asked to contact Chief Rachel Malynowski at 603-899-5009 ext. 15, or via Cheshire County Dispatch at 603-355-2000.