The name of the deceased passenger has been identified as Stephanie Merejildo, 21, from New Bedford. The driver and juvenile passenger remain hospitalized.
At approximately 1:35 p.m. yesterday Massachusetts State Troopers responded to a single-vehicle crash on Route 195 eastbound in Dartmouth near Reed Road. The crash caused fatal injuries to the front passenger.
Preliminary investigation indicates that a 1998 Honda Civic occupied by two women and a juvenile was traveling in the left lane on Route 195 eastbound when for an unknown reason the vehicle swerved sharply to the right. The Honda traveled across all eastbound lanes, entering the soft shoulder on the breakdown lane side facing rearward. The Honda then struck a tree causing severe damage to the Honda. The occupants had to be extricated by Dartmouth Fire.
One female passenger was determined to be deceased at the scene. The female driver was transported to Rhode Island Hospital by Med flight with life threatening injuries. Their names are not being released at this time. The juvenile passenger was transported to Hasbro Children Hospital in Rhode Island with unknown injuries. State Police do not release names of juvenile crash victims.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police with the assistance of the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, the State Police Crime Scene Services Section, and the State Police Detective Unit for Bristol County. The State Police were assisted by Dartmouth Fire & EMS. Troopers are investigating speed as a potential contributing factor, and are also examining whether the victims were wearing seatbelts.