Judith Morse, 70, of West Tisbury, and Susan S. Lombard, 69, of Lyman, NH, died Tuesday after their in Aquinnah. The other passenger, Susan Papanicolaou, 68 of Minneapolis, was treated for minor injuries.
Albert Fischer, caretaker of Red Gate Farm, the Kennedy family estate that was purchased by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1978, found the women and notified police at close to noon on Tuesday, March 27. All three women were transported to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital where Morse and Lombard were pronounced dead.
The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation released a statement on behalf of Caroline Kennedy and Edwin Schlossberg saying, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims of this tragic accident.”
A preliminary investigation by State Police Sgt. Thomas Medeiros into the double motor vehicle fatality on the private property indicates that Morse, driving a 2000 Land Cruiser, was backing down the private driveway when she struck a tree. She then attempted to drive forward when the vehicle struck an electrical box, a porch attached to a garage, and then traveled up a hill striking a tree head on.
Morse was the mother of Chris Morse who, with his wife Sheila, owns and operates and in West Tisbury, and in Edgartown.
A memorial service for Judith Morse will be held on the Island at a later date to be announced.