A head-on automobile crash left a mother and son dead and another man severely injured in Fitchburg Sunday morning. Michelle Martens, 36, and her son, Justin Fournier, 16, both residents of Ashby were killed in the 10:00 a.m. collision, officials said. Emergency responders brought Wayne F. Patenaude to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester with serious injuries, police said.
Martens and Fournier were traveling in a Kia Sportage that crossed over a marked lane on Route 31, hitting the Chevy Silverado Patenaude was driving, investigators said. Police are unsure who was driving the Kia at the time.
All three of the victims were connected to the fire department in Ashby, a small town in central Massachusetts. Ashby Fire Chief William Seymour Jr. said Martens was an EMT and third-generation firefighter, Fournier a participant in the department’s auxiliary program, and Patenaude a volunteer EMT with the department. “It still seems like it’s a nightmare,” Seymour said.
Peter McMurray, chairman of the Ashby Board of Selectmen, said of the deaths “it was a shock.” “We’re a small town, and everyone knew her through her father and grandfather. Everyone’s taking it pretty hard.” McMurray said he had worked alongside Martens many times.
The Ashby Fire Department held a meeting on Sunday morning to inform first responders of Martens’ death, McMurray said. “I think everybody will think about her for quite a while,” he said.
Perenaude suffered injuries to his head and right arm, and had a crushed right heel, Seymour said. He was expected to remain hospitalized overnight, according to the district attorney’s office.
Police said they are investigating if weather played a role in the accident. “The road was extremely slippery at that time this morning and it’s just too bad to start off a Sunday morning that way,” said fire deputy John Curran.
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Mom, son killed in head-on crash, www.wcvb.com, February 18, 2013.
Deaths of mother, son in crash shock town of Ashby, bostonglobe.com, February 17, 2013