Late Christmas night Massachusetts State Troopers responded to a crash on Veterans Memorial Bridge in Somerset that was caused by an intoxicated wrong-way driver and resulted in the deaths of two occupants of one of the vehicles he struck. A third occupant of the victims’ vehicle is in critical condition. The wrong-way operator is under State Police guard at a hospital and will be charged with a host of offenses, including motor vehicle homicide and manslaughter.
Troopers from the State Police-Dartmouth Barracks responded to the westbound side of the bridge, which is part of Route 6, at 11:10 PM on Monday, Dec. 25, 2023. Preliminary investigation indicates that a 2023 Land Rover SUV with a New York registration was being operated in an easterly direction on the westbound side. The Land Rover struck two westbound vehicles, a 2019 Honda Accord sedan with two occupants and a 2014 Infiniti QX50 SUV with three occupants. All six motorists, including the wrong-way driver, were transported to area hospitals.
The driver of the Infiniti, a 73-year-old Dighton man, and his rear seat passenger, a juvenile teenage male, were pronounced deceased at the hospital. The Infiniti’s front seat passenger, a 68-year-old Dighton woman, suffered serious injuries and is in critical condition at an area hospital. We are not releasing their names today.
The driver and passenger of the Honda, both of them young adult women from Taunton, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The wrong-way driver is identified as ADAM M. GAUTHIER, 41, of New York City. He remains hospitalized at Rhode Island Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries under State Police guard. GAUTHIER is being charged with several offenses, including Motor Vehicle Homicide While Under the Influence; Manslaughter; OUI-Liquor Causing Serious Bodily Injury; Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle; and Wrong-Way Operation on a State Highway. There is a possibility he will be arraigned later today at the hospital; that decision will ultimately be made by the hospital and the court. His case will be prosecuted by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.
The investigation of the facts and circumstances of the crash is being conducted by the State Police-Dartmouth Barracks, State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, State Police Crime Scene Services Section, and State Police Detective Unit for Bristol County. The Fall River and Somerset Fire Departments responded to the crash as well.
The crash necessitated the closure of both westbound lanes on the bridge for four hours.