The following is a press release from the Massachusetts State Police.
The Massachusetts State Police released the identities yesterday of those involved in a four-car wrong-way crash that killed two people Sunday on Route 24 in West Bridgewater, MA.
A Tierton man, 44-year-old John LaChapelle, died after his 1999 GMC pickup truck was struck by a wrong-way driver and burst into flames. The passenger, Kim LaChapelle, 42, also of Tiverton escaped with minor injuries. Per Massachusetts State Police policy, the relationship of the victims will not be released.
Troop D patrols responded to the crash at 3:55 a.m. on Sunday morning after the State Police barracks in Middleborough began to receive calls from other motorists reporting a wrong-way driver, travelling south on the northbound side of Route 24, north of Exit 16, in West Bridgewater, MA.
On arrival patrols found four vehicles involved, the wrong way vehicle and three others it had struck, one of which had burst into flames.
Debris from the impact was thrown across both sides of the highway, necessitating the closure of the entire highway.
The suspected wrong-way operator, Lisa Banat, 19, of Mansfield was driving a 2010 Toyota Corolla. The Corolla rolled over after striking the pickup truck head on, and then may have been struck by another vehicle. Banat suffered severe injuries and was pronounced dead on-scene.
The third vehicle involved was a 2002 Chevy Tahoe operated by Kevin Alexander, 36, from Fall River. He was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton with non-life threatening injuries.
The fourth vehicle was a 2003 Chevy Cavalier operated by Richard Carreira, 66, of Swansea. He was also transported to Good Samaritan for evaluation of possible minor injuries.
The facts and circumstances of the crash, including why and how the Corolla's driver got onto Route 24 going the wrong way, remain under investigation by Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police and the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section (CARS). CARS is in the process of analyzing physical evidence to reconstruct the sequence of events leading to and during the crash.