MIDDLEBORO (CBS) – Five people were killed early Monday morning when a wrong-way driver crashed head-on into another car on Interstate 495 in Middleboro.
State police said a 31-year-old woman whose last known address was in Fall River was heading south in the northbound lanes when her 2011 Infiniti G37 slammed into another vehicle carrying four college students just after midnight near Exit 3.
The wrong-way driver hit a 2003 Mercury Sable driven by a 20-year-old man from Paxton and Osterville, according to police. Also in the Sable were a 19-year-old Hyannis man, a 19-year-old Harwich man, and an 18-year-old man from West Babylon, N.Y. All four men were students at Massachusetts colleges, police said.
All five people in both cars died.
One of the men who died in the Mercury has been identified as Kraig Diggs. “When he came to the house or any room, he would light up the room, he had that personality that would really move you,” said Kip Diggs, Kraig’s father.
Also in the car with Diggs was 19-year-old Jordan Fisher. “He was a lovable kid,” his father Rodney Fisher said. “Well-liked by all the kids, you know? Very popular. He was the best son that I could ask for.”
Fisher says his son Jordan was his best friend. He attended Becker College. “He loved college, he loved playing basketball, and he loved life,” Rodney said.
Kraig Diggs was a sophomore at Anna Maria College. “He made me happy,” said Kip Diggs. “He was working to excel for himself. He was trying to be the best he could be. And, that’s all I could ever ask.”
Monday night, people gathered at a vigil to remember the young victims. Jordan, Kraig and one other were all cousins who grew up on Cape Cod. Two of them went to Barnstable High School. The man from New York was a friend of Jordan’s.
It’s not clear how long the driver of the wrong-way vehicle was on the highway, but Major Anthony Thomas, the commanding officer of the State Police barracks in Middleboro, said State Police received a call at 12:11 a.m., moments before the crash.
Thomas said the wrong-way driver hit the other car head-on in the high-speed lane, causing it to burst into flames. It appears the four people in the car had no time to react to the oncoming driver.
“There is no indication that time allowed for evasive action by the northbound motor vehicle operator to avoid the vehicle travelling the wrong way,” Thomas told reporters at a news conference.
The northbound lane was closed for several hours. It re-opened around 5:30 a.m.
Police are still investigating why the 31-year-old woman was driving the wrong way on the highway. No other information is available at this point in the investigation.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports