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May 13, 2013

Charges likely in rollover crash

MERRIMAC — An Andover woman and her Methuen passenger were seriously injured Saturday evening after a single-car rollover on Interstate 495 south near Broad Street.

As a result of the crash, one person was trapped and another ejected from the vehicle. The driver, Shannon J. Sirois of Andover, was transported to Lawrence General Hospital in Lawrence before being transferred to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where she was reported to be in serious condition yesterday afternoon. Her passenger, Shane C. Chunilal of Methuen, was also transported to Lawrence General, where he was in stable condition as of Sunday afternoon.

State police are still investigating the cause of the crash and charges against Sirois are pending. Additional information was not released by police, who did not return a phone call.

According to police, the crash took place just after 6 p.m. in an area of Interstate 495 notoriously known to local emergency responders as the Merrimac Triangle, due to the number of accidents that occur there. It’s a reference of sorts to the Bermuda Triangle, a section of the Atlantic Ocean where a number of aircraft and ships have allegedly disappeared mysteriously. The speed limit for that section of Interstate 495 is 65 mph, and the road is relatively straight.

Following the roll-over, witnesses at the scene reported seeing the car on fire. State police, along with Merrimac firefighters, determined there was no fire danger but rather smoke coming from the engine, away from the passenger compartment. A medical helicopter was requested and state police were about to close off a portion of the three-lane highway to allow the chopper to land before the request was canceled due to rainy weather.

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