UPDATE: Two Dead and One Injured in Car Accident on Property Once Owned by Jacqueline Kennedy

Judith Morse, of West Tisbury, and another woman were killed, while another sustained minor injuries in an accident this afternoon on the Kennedy property in Aquinnah

Two women were killed, and another injured in a car accident this afternoon at Red Gate Farm, the Kennedy family estate, in Aquinnah.

A preliminary investigation by State Police Sgt. Thomas Medeiros into the double motor vehicle fatality on the private property, where a third victim suffered minor injuries, indicates that Judith Morse, 70, of West Tisbury, was backing her 2000 Land Cruiser down a 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.

According to Medeiros, investigators aren’t sure exactly what happened, but the driver was first disorientated by hitting the electrical box and then the porch.

“At some point the air bags deployed and that confused her more,” Medeiros said. “They then headed straight up the hill and hit the biggest tree on that hill head on.”

Both the driver and the second victim, Susan Lombard, 69, of Lyman, NH were killed in the crash. The rear seat passenger Susan Papanicolaou, 68, from Minneapolis, received minor injuries.

When Mederious arrived on the scene Papanicolaou was attempting to administer CPR to the other victims, he said.

Albert Fischer, the caretaker for the estate, realized there was a car on the private property and when he turned around, it had disappeared, Mederious said. Fischer then drove out to Moshup’s Trail to see if he could find it.

“When he saw that the car wasn’t on Moshup’s, he realized it had to still be on the property. That’s when he went back and saw the SUV crashed into the tree.”

Mederious said that the women did not have permission to be on the property.

“They probably figured, it being March and a quiet time of year, they could just go down there to poke around. There was no mal intent on their being down there.”

All three female occupants of the vehicle were transported to . Morse and Lombard were pronounced deceased.

The incident remains under investigation by Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police with the assistance of the State Police Collision Analysis Reconstruction Section and the State Police Crime Scene Services Section.

adam March 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM
real compassionate, john. you're a class act.
Cape Cod Homeowner March 28, 2012 at 12:16 PM
A tragic accident and unnecessary. Although probably no mal intent - it's trespassing. Having a home down a long driveway, I'm shocked how many cars make it down the driveway out of curiosity...getting out, walking around. It's intrusive to any homeowner and an invasion of privacy. It doesn't seem to matter if it's a private residence, a house under construction, or a home for sale. Being unfamiliar with a property can, obviously, lead to confusion and damage. In this case, tragically, loss of life.
Karen Burke March 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM
What you've stated is so true, but bear in mind, as a tourist, curiosity is part of one's travel gear, especially when it's the residence of a famous person. Were there a non-trespassing sign? It's a sad story...these women were my age group, and I feel for them and the loved ones they left behind. It can happen to us, all; any ole day. The news subscribe to this every minute of the day.
Red Sam Rackham March 28, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Tragic auto accidents occur everyday and most never reach the news media. Would this story even make it to the news media if the Kennedy name (albeit posthumously) weren't linked to it?
Mathea Morais (Editor) March 28, 2012 at 01:43 PM
As we are an Island where tragic auto accidents do not occur everyday, this would definitely reach the news media no matter where it occurred. However, as for the national news, you may be right.
Annette9929 March 28, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Why in the world is this news Unfortuntely it happens every day
Annette9929 March 28, 2012 at 01:45 PM
I agree n this. Its sure local news but not national
Maggie Dempsey March 28, 2012 at 03:51 PM
This is a website for local news. You obviously are not from around here, otherwise you would never be saying something like this. With or without the Kennedy name linked to this story, fatal auto crashes on this island are extremely rare. We are a small, tightly-knit community of less than 20,000 people at this time of the year. Small mainland suburbs contain more citizens than this entire island does. We're all in this together, and MY heart goes out to the families who are grieving... Sorry if that isn't "national news worthy" enough for you, Anette
Christine E. March 28, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Maggie, I was directed to this article through National Media. You seem to make a lot of assumptions. You don't know where Annette9929 is from, and you certainly aren't the only small knit community in the US. I also live in the northeast - a town of 18,000 - ALL YEAR. Accidents happen in our small knit community, and they certainly don't make national headlines, and we wouldn't expect them to. While I sympathize for the victims, it's nothing more than local news that has spread because of a famous-link.
Mathea Morais (Editor) March 28, 2012 at 04:16 PM
I think that this is most definitely the case of a famous name attracting more media attention then would normally occur. We had another tragic situation here last week that did not get quite the same attention that this has. It is the case that as a culture, we pay attention to famous peoples lives, homes and stories. In the case of this situation, the Kennedy family is one of the most historically famous and most followed families of our time - and the time before ours to be sure. It is quite a tragic accident, but not one that is different from other tragic accidents except for where the event took place. And, in fact, it is an accident that came about due to the victims' own curiosity about this famous family.
Maggie Dempsey March 28, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Christine, I'm sorry if you feel I've misspoken, but I haven't. I did not insist that we were the only small community in America. I only pointed out that DESPITE this story being reposted by national media, you've followed the URL down the line to where it originated: this site, local news built for a small community. Annette's comments about this being not worthy for national news belonged on the site where she originally saw this article, not here. Perhaps an automobile accident isn't worthy of the attention of our nation, but the people who frequent this website certainly are concerned. And no, I couldn't say for certain where Anette9929 lives, but she registered an account simply to comment here and has never appeared here in the past. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that a one-time commenter behind a semi-anonymous name probably isn't from around here. I hope this never happens in your community, where people from other places are poking their noses in, wrinkling them distastefully as they insist this isn't newsworthy. Sorry, but here, it is.
Michael West March 28, 2012 at 06:57 PM
This is a very sad story, and I am sure the families of these women feel that way. After all they were just exploring the island in offseason, took a detour they probably shouldn't have taken out of sheer curiosity and perhaps the thrill of it. And then things began going wrong. A decision to back up and turn around that resulted in a minor collision, followed by a burst forward into a porch and electrical box that created enough impact that the airbag deployed, and then the car went out of control and rammed the tree that took two lives. This chaos probably took less than a minute and in that short span was utterly devastating. My heart goes out to the survivor and to the families of the deceased women, who really deserved a better break than they got.
Ashley Gilbert March 28, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Maggie-i totally agree with you! What a devastating week this has been for the island.
YGA March 28, 2012 at 09:39 PM
People, two women, Mothers, Sisters, Wife's and Friends lost their lifes. Small island, big city...doesn't matter if you loved these woman. I know someone who did.
Christine E. March 28, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Maggie, Apparently you fail to recognize that America Online (AOL) is the parent company of Patch.com, and therefore their separate news-source headlines link you to Patch.com sites. Perhaps they shouldn't do that if they want to reserve commenting strictly to locals.
HotTinRoof March 29, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Let's face it, the Vineyard has always been a sort of sheltered work shop, especially up island. This is more tragic than usual but not entirely shocking for anyone with extensive experience with the island. I mean where else would someone get killed in a big truck with air bags on a driveway? It's just a very Vineyard story and the reason it's national news, other than the Kennedy name, is that the Vineyard has this unfortunate (and not entirely fair) reputation as a place for sort of useless out of touch liberals, so there's a zeal for stories about the people there doing something really dumb. I mean two people dead from the effects of turning around in a driveway? You just don't see that everywhere. Look for stories of it happening in other places.
ALISA ROMAN March 29, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Someone once said, that {All news is Local}...The death toll this year for woman, on the Island is extremely high...Tragically so...I find that the comments of the men seem much more compasionate...Karma...speaks volumes....R.I.P.
Sue Dawson March 29, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Please keep your insensitivity to yourself. People are grieving the loss of two women, one of whom was a year-round islander with lots of family here. Let them grieve in peace.


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