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UPDATED: Man killed in three-car crash on I-95 north in Stonington

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Stonington — A Boston man was killed and a Cranston, R.I., woman was injured in a three-car crash Sunday afternoon that closed the northbound lanes of Interstate 95 for hours just south of the Pequot Trail overpass between Exits 90 and 91.

Three children were also brought to the hospital for observation after a car and an SUV, both of which were demolished, crashed into trees in the wooded median.    

The crash, which occurred about 3:35 p.m., created gridlock both on the highway and in Mystic throughout the afternoon and evening as traffic was detoured off the highway at Exit 90. In addition, southbound traffic was stopped late in the afternoon, as state police routed the stopped northbound traffic through a median into the southbound lanes. While they were stopped, people got out of their cars and walked and ran down the highway to look at the scene.  

Meanwhile, crowds of people who had been detoured gathered on the Pequot Trail overpass to look at the crash scene. At other sections of Pequot Trail, tractor trailer trucks got stuck and blocked traffic.

According to a state police report, vehicles driven by Lee Metzger, 30, of Mystic; Melina J. Cote, 27, of Cranston, R.I.,  and Tabatha M. Perez, 29, also of Cranston, were all traveling in the left lane when a Volkwagen GTI driven by Leander N. Ortega, 29, of Boston, tried to pass Cote and Perez on the right. Ortega then cut into the left lane striking the rear of Metzger's pickup truck and the front passenger side of Cote's Toyota RAV4. Both Ortega and Cote lost control and their vehicles continued into the median and struck trees. Police said Ortega's GTI was fused to and wrapped around a tree.

Ortega was pronounced dead at the scene, and Cote, who complained of severe stomach pain, was brought to Lawrence + and Memorial Hospital. Three children in Cote's car, ages 5, 5 and 3, were brought to L+M for observation. Perez's Volkswagen CC sedan was not involved in the crash. She had three passengers, an adult and two children.       

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to calls state police at (860) 848-6500.


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