Fatal crash victim identified as Eric R. Gage of Athol

  • Flowers and baseball caps were placed at the site of Sunday night’s crash that killed Eric R. Gage, 26, and seriously injured two others that have not yet been identified. ATHOL DAILY NEWS/CARSON MCGRATH

For the Athol Daily News
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

ATHOL — One person died and two others were sent to the hospital with serious injuries following a car crash Sunday night on South Athol Road.

The Massachusetts Northwestern District Attorney’s Office identified Eric R. Gage, 26, of Athol, as the person who died in the crash.

A Nissan Altima flipped onto its roof after crashing into a tree on the straightaway, near 1060 South Athol Road, resulting in one person being ejected from the car. The two others in the vehicle were removed from the car by first responders using extricating tools, Athol Police Chief Russell Kleber said.

Police responded to the scene around 8:40 p.m. and stayed well into the early hours of the morning.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation by the Massachusetts State Police. Kleber said speeding authorities are trying to determine if excessive speed was a factor.

It was a “tremendous collision,” Kleber said, resulting in a car being destroyed.

“For two of the occupants to have survived, it just really shows you that the design of the vehicle is impressive,” Kleber said, noting the front and side airbags helped save lives.

The two who sustained serious injuries were brought to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, according to the District Attorney’s Office, which is handling the case because of the fatality. Kleber said one of the occupants may have first been taken to Athol Hospital.

“It was a real good team effort,” Kleber said, with his police department, and the Athol and Orange first departments responding to the accident.

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