MERRIMAC (CBS) – State Police are investigating a fatal accident on Interstate 495 north in Merrimac that claimed the lives of two people.
An Econovan carrying six people lost control and flipped into the median strip landing on its side near Exit 53.
Jose Chuqui, a passenger, says a tire blew out and the driver lost control. The 23-year-old suffered facial bruises and an injury to his arm, and has little memory of what happened.
“I kind of blacked out during that time, but I came to my senses when we came to a stop,” he tells WBZ-TV.
Chuqui was with five others travelling Thursday morning from Milford to a home in Maine for a roofing job.
One person thrown from the vehicle was killed, another later died from his injuries.
One of the victims is Chuqui’s uncle. He admits not all were wearing seatbelts.
“The driver had a seatbelt. Other guys were in the back where there were no seats and they were sitting on tarps.” Chuqui said, adding that there were extra workers to get the job done.
Ladders that were strapped to the top of the van and tools that filled it were also thrown onto the highway. It was a devastating scene that backed up traffic for hours while both the investigation and cleanup were underway.
Jose Chuqui says he’s fortunate to survive but heartbroken at the loss of his friends.
“I’m devastated by this. I’m in a lot of emotional pain right now,” he said.