BEDFORD, Mass. - A Methuen man has died after his SUV collided head-on with a cement truck in Bedford on Thursday afternoon. The truck plowed into a utility pole causing the transformer to explode and cutting out power for hundreds of residents.
One neighbor says the cement truck ended up in their front lawn approaching their front door. They said the crash sounded like a bomb went off and they jumped from their seats.
"I was blown out of my chair, I felt like a bomb went off," said Neil Dale of Bedford. "And the truck just stopped, plowed right into our driveway, and it’s been there ever since."
A head-on collision on North Road had neighbors in full panic mode
"I thought my house was on fire for a second there," said Dave Young, a neighbor.
"We stayed inside, we saw liquid dripping out of the truck, we didn't know what was going to happen," Dale said. "We didn't know what caused the explosion to begin with."
Police say the SUV veered into oncoming traffic, colliding head-on with a cement truck. The driver of the truck lost control and careened into a utility pole.
"Split the pole in half, took the transformer down," Young said. "And the transformer hit the ground. That's why all the chemicals hit the ground, it's a mess."
Police say the driver of the SUV, a 71-year-old man from Methuen, was killed. The man's 11-year-old grandson along with another 10-year-old boy inside the car both survived. Police say they walked away from the intense crash entirely because they were strapped in safely.
"The manor of this accident, the seatbelts saved both those kids lives," said Jeffery French of Bedford Police.
Dale says he walked outside to check out the damage once he knew it was safe and says he saw the driver of the cement truck.
"He looked so sad afterwards," Dale said. "We saw him sitting there, we were wondering what was going on. We didn’t know at the time anybody got killed."
The cleanup continues as Eversource crews work to restore power to hundreds of residents in the dark.
Neighbors like Young have been providing food and drinks for hard-working crews trying to restore power in the area.
"They've been standing out here all afternoon in this heat, the least they could do is get some refreshments," Young said.
Whether or not the driver was wearing a seat belt and what caused the driver to cross the double yellow lines is still under investigation by police.
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