Three car crashes along less than a mile stretch of Route 128 during rush hour on Wednesday night caused significant congestion during one of the final shopping days before Christmas.
It all started at just about 5 p.m. when one car smashed into the back of another car on Route 128 southbound just north of exit 22. Nobody was injured in that crash, but it was the first of three crashes that culminated in a five-mile long backup of traffic on the northbound side of the road, stretching from near the Beverly line back to the I-95/Route 128 split in Peabody.
State Police said there was no single thing that contributed to all the crashes, which were reported during a 50 minute period along a mile stretch of Route 128 roughly between Endicott Street and Elliott Street.
“What was the reason?,” said Danvers Fire Lt. Ken Reardon, who was in charge of Wednesday evening’s shift. “I wouldn’t even begin to speculate.”
None of the crashes required firefighters to use the Jaws of Life or other hydraulic tools and all of them resulted in minor injuries, including neck and back pain plus whiplash.
State Police Spokesman, Trooper Kenneth Gaetz, said it was a busy evening of crashes not only in Danvers, but all across the region. State Police handled seven crashes, alone, in a three-hour stretch on Wednesday night.
The combination of the evening rush hour and many people who were out and about doing gift shopping five days before Christmas may have contributed to all the crashes, he said.
“You combine those two….and it was a large amount of traffic,” he said.
In addition to State Police and Danvers Fire Department, Danvers Police Department also assisted at the crashes.
The second crash happened about 10 minutes after the first one, this time on the northbound side between exit 23 and exit 22.
Gaetz said that a 2004 Volkswagen Passat collided with a 2008 Toyota Scion. The driver of the Scion, Tyler Frederickson, 30, of Lynnfield, was taken by Lyons ambulance to Beverly Hospital. The other driver, Dana Booth, 71, of Carlisle, was not injured. Both vehicles had to be towed away.
Then, at about 5:45 p.m., another two-car crash occurred on Route 128 northbound north of exit 22.
In that crash, the driver of a 2002 Toyota Camry, Brian Cho, 26, of Closter, N.J. was taken to Beverly Hospital by Lyons ambulance with minor injuries. The driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash, Rachel Kalman, 22, of Beverly, was not injured, She was driving a 2010 Chevrolet Impala.
“They were all rear-end collisions,” Gaetz said. “And all of them are still under investigation.”
No charges, summons or citations were issued in connection with any of the crashes.