Woman Killed When Backhoe Crushes Minivan On I495

WESTBORO (CBS) – A woman was killed on Friday when a backhoe being towed by a National Grid dump truck rolled off the trailer and landed on a minivan carrying four people.

That woman, who was in her seventies, was a passenger in the back seat of the car. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver, 42-year-old Yingzi Wang from Westford, was flown to UMass Medical Center once emergency responders were able to free her from the car. Police say two children, a 10-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl were taken to the hospital by ambulance.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports

According to State Police, the driver of the dump truck that was carrying the backhoe is 49-year-old Jeffrey Fisher, a construction supervisor for National Grid who lives in Coventry, Rhode Island.

Jeff Munson was driving his wife and two children to the Cape, when he saw the crash.  He says it looked like the driver hauling a backhoe on a flatbed was trying to switch lanes, when he fishtailed.

“It jackknifed and rolled and he went to go to the right lane, he over-compensated and the backhoe fell off the trailer,” said Munson.

Munson rushed to help.  “I saw a boy all bloody, covered in bloody, but he was coherent,” he said. Munson also told WBZ-TV that the boys mother and a young girl were both conscious.

The scene of the crash was south of the Simarano Drive exit in Southborough, right on the Westboro line.

The two right travel lanes and the breakdown lane were closed for approximately six hours and traffic was delayed for more than three miles. All lanes were opened at 8:00 p.m.

Whether the backhoe was properly secured on the trailer was not known right away.  Police told WBZ-TV that they had not ruled out the possibility of charges.

Friday evening, National Grid issued a statement expressing sympathy and concern for the victims.

The company says it’s launching an internal investigation and cooperating with police.

In the statement, National Grid also offered information that hints to a possible cause of the accident, saying the truck “was being test-driven at the time of the accident. This was a new model of dump truck which National Grid was continuing to evaluate in test drives following some safety considerations which had been identified by our employees.”

State Police say the truck involved was a 2010 Freightliner M2106.

It was unclear whether those concerns played any role in the accident.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson contributed to this report.

  • http://www.masscops.com/f79/i-495-s-westboro-shut-down-after-front-end-loader-crushes-car-97883/#post613993 I-495 S In Westboro Shut Down After Front-End Loader Crushes Car

    […] […]

  • Snowman

    If the loader was properly secured to the trailer it would NOT have come off the trailer even in a rollover and this woman would still be alive. A full investigation of the chaining procedure used to secure the loader should be done and the responsible parties should be prosecuted.

  • Matt

    Who cares how and why this accident happend. Just clear the road and get this traffic moving.

    • jay

      some needs to be held responsible

      • Walt

        Ahh yes, welcome to America. let’s sue someone or send someone to jail immediately because an accident happened. What if it was an old chain, or an old hook, or a part that just wore out over time. Don’t automatically think the workers didnt chain it up correctly or were swerving or texting.

      • alan

        Wait, what if it was your mother killer, your wife injured, or your children left traumatized and bloodied?
        What are you an unnamed spokes person for Nation Grid trying to minimize the severity of this accident?

    • Juanita

      your looking at 2 accidents on south 495 so deal with it. YOUR not going any where anytime soon.

    • al4624

      WOW thats so effin rude….a lady was killed and two kids were injured you heartless jerk!! oh and get off the phone while driving!!

    • Scott94008

      Someone get killed, investigation necessary or next time could be anyone driving on there.

  • Juanita

    they say that the truck started to fishtail and tried to pull over but lost control.Im not defending anyone…This was a tragic accident. They same that the man might be facing criminal charges.My prayers go out to the family

  • JS

    Walt is right, while it was tragic, it isn’t time for a lynch mob.

  • jman

    Eat it walt! if it was an old chain replace it! an old hook replace it!
    also, EVERYONE on the road is always in a rush.sadly, common courtesy is something of the past these days.
    everyone cares for themselves and what they need to do and where they need to go. im sure the driver feels horrible and i feel bad for the injured and deceased.
    remember when 9-11 happened how everyone was nice and considerate?
    sad it takes a disaster like that to bring people together and care for each other. to watch out for each other.
    i see it all the time on the road as i am on it all the time.
    people care about number one and thats all!

  • alicia

    I agree wAlt i did not meAn to report your comment !

  • njuguna muigai

    i offer my sincere condolences to the family/ies that were affected or touched by this horrible incident may God give them peace and quick recovery. i may sympathise with supervisor but this should be a lesson to supervisors because many supervisors fire people even on minor issues.please let learn to forgive

  • paul32222222

    just heard of anoether bad accident on rte 128 south in waltham.

  • Becky

    Instead of trying to get into the head of others or act as if I was there and tear apart speculation….. I am going to pray for everyone involved. Their lives have been turned upside down- I will focus on that. Anger gets us nowhere.

  • Joe

    This is a tragedy for everyone involved. First and foremost for the victims and family who have my prayers and condolences. Second for the driver of the truck. I own equipment and that is my worst fear when hauling, that driver will have to live with this and will never be the same. IMO, there are multiple possible causes for this but most likely one of these 3. Is it possible the machine was not chained properly or at all? Yes. However, a company the size of national grid would have strict hauling procedures and hire very experienced & highly trained drivers.

    Assuming it was chained properly the most likely scenario is someone cut him off or someone next to him. The witness said the truck started to fishtail. To fishtail enough to sway a trailer that severely, the driver had to swerve very quickly, hit the brakes very hard (both truck and trailer brakes) or a combination of both. I have to somewhat disagree with snowman. Even if the backhoe was properly chained to the deck it is still possible for it to separate from the trailer if the truck and trailer rolled. It is also possible for a properly chained machine to stay on the trailer during a roll. There are many different factors involved that could allow a properly chained machine to come off. Most important is how violent the roll and how many times. It looked like it rolled down a hill which tells me it violently rolled multiple times. If the truck and trailer just roll on its side then yes, the machine should stay attached. All bets are off once it makes a complete or numerous complete violent rolls. It’s in gods hands at that point.

    The other 2 likely scenarios are equipment failure or driver error. If he lightly hit the brakes and the trailer brakes unexpectedly locked up or a tire blew out, etc. If he changed lanes without looking, drifted into a lane and panicked or was not paying enough attention then its driver error. Again, any of these are possible but the first is most likely.

    Imo, drivers ed needs to teach drivers how these big trucks and trailers operate. They need to understand what these drivers are thinking so they can anticipate his actions. Drivers in cars need to understand how their sudden movement can impact a large truck. The only way to do this is to Atleast have new drivers ride along in a truck for x amount of hours in order to know what its like. Ideally have them get some actual time behind the wheel but observation at the least.

    Everyone sees the sticker on the back of trucks saying CAUTION! THIS VEHICLE MAKES WIDE RIGHT TURNS! However, I bet 75% of drivers don’t understand why or even what it means. We have all seen the car trying to pass a truck on the right after the truck swings left before making a right hand turn. The car then jams its brakes on when the driver says “oh bleep, what the bleep” when the truck swings to the right and makes his turn. But they still don’t understand why he did that and think its his fault. Again, it could be one of many reasons. Either way I hope people start paying attention to big trucks. Trust me, truck drivers are paying attention because this story (their fault or not) is every drivers worst fear.

    • ???

      OH AND ASSUMING….in your second paragraph….you should never assume…

    • ??

      NATIONAL GRID realsed a message saying that they knew the truck wasnt safe and that they were test driving it. Dont defend your truck driving friends, this is in all National Grids fault. Read your facts befor you type your three point essay on how it could be the driver of the cars fault. If a truck driver is not confient in his abilties to drive with a load on board, then maybe he should not be driving. Just a thought? This is not aobut the truck is about a family that will never be the same again!

      • Joe

        Maybe I wasn’t clear. I’m in no way defending national grid or the driver. I don’t know the driver, anyone at national grid nor do I have any financial interest in the company. Actually, I can’t stand utility company’s in general. Again, as I made clear, I feel horrible for the family involved. They did nothing to cause this accident. It could have been my family or yours.

        The discussion was about this horrible tragedy that happened to an innocent family and how the accident happened. I was simply commenting on the accident and giving my opinion on possible causes. I stated numerous times that the driver very well could be at fault. I also stated there could be equipment failure involved in which case national grid and the equipment manufacturer will be at fault. And regardless, its national grids name on the truck so they will be held accountable no matter what.

        However, I was giving my opinion as to what I believe the most likely scenario was. In no way did that involve the innocent family. They were not involved in the cause but unfortunately were the result. My point was if all things were properly executed, by the driver and company, prior to driving the truck then it is highly possible a careless driver may have caused the truck driver to react and make a quick defensive driving move that MAY HAVE led to the accident. Or maybe the driver is a moron and shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a go kart.

        As car as getting facts straight? The statement didn’t say “they knew the truck wasn’t safe”. It said they were testing a new truck and there were concerns that drivers had. It seems to me your facts are way off and your the one assuming not I .

        Here is the quote: In the statement, National Grid also offered information that hints to a possible cause of the accident, saying the truck “was being test-driven at the time of the accident. This was a new model of dump truck which National Grid was continuing to evaluate in test drives following some safety considerations which had been identified by our employees.”

  • http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/08/14/police-probing-recall-history-of-truck-in-backhoe-crash-on-i-495/ Police Probing Recall History Of Truck In Backhoe Crash On I-495 « CBS Boston

    […] said officials are looking into whether Daimler Trucks North America had recalled the freight-liner truck that crashed on I-495 in […]

  • Wouldnt you like to know!

    I think you all should shut your mouths! I know the person involved personally. NEVER take life for granted and always hug and love everyone around you. If you have nothing heartfelt to say maybe you should just keep to yourself. You need to think about it, a grandmother has passed away, a mother is fighting for her life and two children were involved. Think about that next time you want to talk how much traffic there was or sueing!

  • http://jh.fakelist.info/caution-truck-sticker.html Caution Truck Sticker

    […] Woman Killed When Backhoe Crushes Minivan On 495 In … Everyone sees the sticker on the back of trucks saying CAUTION THIS VEHICLE MAKES WIDE RIGHT TURNS! However, I bet 75% of drivers don't understand why or even what it means. We have all seen the car trying to […]

  • The_Wrench

    Seems to be a real problem with National Grids statement.
    First, ANY mechanic can put any unsafe vehicle out of service. That vehicle (If it did have a steering recall ) should have never left the yard. Sounds like the shop foreman, and the last mechanic to sign off on it, are going to be spending a lot of time with the D.O.T. They are responsible for letting that truck leave the yard.
    Second, Why is a truck that is unsafe to drive being “TESTED ” by an operator and not the MECHANIC that put the vehicle out of service? Not even a ROOKIE would make that DUMB mistake. Mechanics 101 ( first thing a rookie learns ) says ” If you put it out of service , No ONE drives it but a mechanic.
    Last.. Why on earth would anyone ( that knows what they’re doing ) hook a trailer with a load on it to a vehicle with a KNOWN steering issue.. The shop foreman should have never let this mess leave the yard.
    Sounds to me like someone ( National Grid ) is not telling the truth.

  • http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/08/15/national-grid-manager-behind-the-wheel-in-deadly-crash/ National Grid Manager Behind The Wheel In Deadly Crash « CBS Boston

    […] It happened Friday afternoon on busy I-495. A backhoe being towed by a National Grid truck flipped off a trailer and landed on a mini van killing an elderly Westford woman and seriously injuring another woman. […]

  • http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/08/08/victims-family-relieved-by-charges-against-national-grid-driver-in-westford-crash/ Victim’s Family Relieved By Charges Against National Grid Driver In Westford Crash « CBS Boston

    […] (CBS) – With a National Grid manager facing charges for a crash that killed a Westford grandmother, the victim’s family says it feels relieved that the slow wheels of justice are finally […]

  • http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/08/20/national-grid-supervisor-pleads-not-guilty-in-fatal-495-crash/ National Grid Supervisor Pleads Not Guilty In Fatal 495 Crash « CBS Boston

    […] A National Grid supervisor pleaded not guilty Monday to motor vehicle homicide in connection with a fatal crash on Interstate 495 in Southboro last […]

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