Right-Side Placement of Steering Wheel May Have Been Factor in July 4th Crash

Photos show damage done to both vehicles in yesterday’s crash on Barnes Road

into on Barnes Road that required three victims to be flown to Boston Hospitals by medical helicopter indicates that the Jeep – a model that has its steering wheel on the right side – was travelling southbound on the Barnes Road Extension when it pulled onto the right shoulder of the road. The Jeep then began to turn left, entering into an apparent U-turn. At that time, it was broadsided by the front of the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan, which was also travelling southbound on the Barnes Road Extension. The collision caused the Jeep to roll over and the Tiguan to veer off the left side of the road.

Among the potential factors under investigation are the speed of the Tiguan, and whether the right-side placement of the Jeep’s steering wheel affected the driver’s vision in taking a U-turn to his left. No determination has yet been made as to whether these factors contributed to the crash. Police continue to analyze physical evidence and witness statements and are also looking into whether criminal charges are warranted.

Heather LaFlamme, 21, of Berlin, N.H., remains in critical condition with life-threatening injuries at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. LaFlamme was a rear seat passenger in 2012 Jeep Wrangler that was broadsided by the Tiguan.

The other rear seat passenger in the Jeep, Seth Jones, 26, of Dummer, N.H., remains at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston with serious injuries.

The Jeep’s front seat passenger, Margaret Jones, 51, also of Dummer, N.H., also remains at Beth Israel with serious injuries.

LaFlamme, Mr. Jones, and Mrs. Jones were all transported from the Island by medical helicopter following the 2 pm crash.

The Jeep’s driver, Thomas C. Jones, 51, of Dummer, N.H., was transported by ambulance to with serious injuries.

The operator of the Tiguan sport utility vehicle, Benjamin T. Johnson, 19, of Cambridge, was transported to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital for evaluation of possible injuries. He has been released.


Linda July 07, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Hey r@@@, doesn't there have to be a sign that says "no U turn" for it to be illegal??? You weren't there & I was!! Speed was the factor here!!!
Marie July 07, 2012 at 07:09 PM
A person still must look for traffic before negotiating a U turn.
downislandgirl July 10, 2012 at 03:29 PM
If the car that hit them was traveling at a very high rate of speed (as witnesses indicate it was), it could very well be that Mr. Jones DID look carefully before entering into a U-Turn. A car going that fast could have been completely out of site when he began the turn.
Marie July 13, 2012 at 11:29 AM
The left seated passengers could have blocked the line of sight. The road is wide and clear, a speeding car would be seen by a driver. The crash investigators can determine the speed.
guest2 August 02, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Add to this that the Jeep has no steel bars in its doors like 99% of other vehicles. No side impact airbags, and at least one passenger was not wearing a seatbelt. Stearing wheel and speed may have caused the accident, but a jeep is not a vehicle you want to have a side impact accident in, without a seatbelt on. Look at any saftey report, its a fact,


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