A woman was killed and six people were hurt in two separate early morning crashes that police said were caused by wrong-way drivers.
Rhode Island State Police said a woman was traveling the wrong way in the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 through Pawtucket at about 3 a.m. Friday.
"It's obvious the operator wasn't aware that they were traveling the wrong direction," state police Lt. Robert Wall said.
Police said the vehicle was first spotted going the wrong way by other commuters in Providence near the junction of I-195 when she struck a Jersey barrier median and kept driving. She traveled some three miles from that spot before crashing into another vehicle.
First responders needed the Jaws of Life to extract her and three victims in the small SUV that she struck. A passenger in the SUV was pronounced dead, and the other two were in stable condition at Rhode Island Hospital.
The wrong-way driver was in critical condition.
"Our collision reconstruction unit as well as our criminal identification unit are still investigating, as well as troopers out of the Lincoln Woods barracks," Wall said.
Hours before that crash, another wrong-way driver caused an accident on Interstate 195 near Route 103 in Somerset.
Massachusetts State Police said Raymond Potvin, 79, of Fall River, was traveling west in the eastbound lanes when he hit another car and fled the scene. Three people were taken to a hospital. Potvin was arrested and charged with OUI.
These crashes add to a growing trend in our area. At the beginning of the month, five people were transported to hospitals after a wrong-way crash on I-95. Police ask commuters to stay vigilant.
"It is troubling. Unfortunately, it happens way too often. We just ask that motorists out there call them in as they see it," Wall said.
No charges have been filed so far in the Rhode Island accident.
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