Massachusetts State Police are investigating two separate crashes, one of them fatal, that happened about a mile apart on Saturday night on Interstate 95 in Boxford.
Authorities said they received numerous 911 calls just before 10 p.m. reporting that two vehicles were allegedly racing on the southbound side of the highway. Moments later, additional 911 calls reported a serious multi-vehicle crash on the northbound side at exit 53.
“From the initial reports that came in we knew it was a serious scene,” said Boxford Fire Deputy Chief Michael Madden.
When troopers arrived, an initial investigation indicated that a BMW convertible, driven by 38-year-old Michael Espinola of Peabody, was traveling at a high rate of speed and had crossed into oncoming traffic, striking an Acura MDX and a Honda Civic.
Espinola was transported to Beverly Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The operator of the Acura, a 64-year-old man, and his passenger, a 64-year-old woman, both of North Hampton, New Hampshire, as well as the driver of the Honda, a 43-year-old Georgetown woman and her 12-year-old female passenger, were all transported to Beverly Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The Essex County District Attorney’s office is assisting with the investigation.
A separate crash happened just down the highway at exit 52 a short time later. A car slammed into a tractor trailer which sent her car spinning off into the woods. The driver, a woman in her 30s, later struck a tree. She was trapped inside the car and firefighters had to use the jaws of life to free her, Chief Madden explained.
She was rushed by helicopter the hospital with injuries considered to be life-threatening.
The Boxford Fire Department is reminding drivers to obey the speed limit and drive carefully in light of these two serious accidents.