Police: Wrong-way driver dies on Route 146
A woman was killed in a crash on Route 146 south in Lincoln on Wednesday after police said she was driving the wrong way.
Police said the 89-year-old woman struck a pick-up truck head-on.
"The impact was significant," said Capt. Robert Wall of the Rhode Island State Police.
Lincoln police officers, who were first at the scene, tried to get the woman out of her car, but the door was jammed shut. After a few minutes, firefighters were able to extricate her out of the car.
She later died from her injuries. State police have not released the woman's name.
The driver of the truck was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Wall said the woman had gotten on Route 146 going the wrong way, coming up an off ramp, and smashing into the truck soon after.
"We did take statements from witnesses and it appears she got on at the 116 ramp, the southbound ramp, going northbound in the southbound lane," Wall said.
Asked if it was an easy mistake to make, Wall said, "I can see where it could happen. It's possible. I've seen that configuration up there. It could be confusing, I guess, especially to someone who is not familiar with the area."
A month ago, following another fatal crash, NBC 10 reported on a new system that the state is about to install. Sensors in problem spots would alert wrong-way drivers with flashing lights that they had made a mistake. Alerts would also be broadcast on electronic highway signs to alert other drivers. State police would also get a message informing them of a wrong-way driver.
"They're going to be installing several signals on key intersections, pretty critical intersections, possibly sometime this summer," Wall said.