Five “young adults” died early Monday in a head-on collision on Route 495 in Middleborough, police said.
The crash occurred just after midnight when a car traveling south in the northbound lane collided with another vehicle, killing the wrong-way driver and the four occupants of the northbound car, which burst into flames upon impact, according to state police.
The highway was closed to traffic for about five hours as emergency responders worked to remove the victims and clear the wreckage. The road was reopened to traffic shortly after 5 a.m.
State Police spokesman Anthony Thomas described the scene as “horrific,” according to a Boston Globe report. He said police are investigating the crash, including as to whether “stimuli” played a role.
“There is no indication that time allowed for evasive action by the northbound operator to avoid the vehicle traveling the wrong way,” Thomas said during a news conference.
The identities of the five people killed were not immediately released as police worked to notify families. Two of the victims, Jordan Fisher and Kraig Diggs, were 2015 graduates of Barnstable High School, WCVB reported.
The crash occurred in the northbound lanes of Route 495 between exits 3 and 4 near the Route 28 interchange.
Police received one 911 call just before the crash reporting the wrong-way driver, but investigators do not believe the driver was traveling in the wrong direction for long, according to reports.