By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — SALEM — Three people were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries and one motorist cited for following too closely after a two-car crash on Fort Avenue on Sunday evening.
Officers responded to Fort Avenue and Lowell Street after a 6:48 p.m. report of the accident, according to the incident log. They determined a Hyundai Sonata driven by Desiree Melendez, 36, of Salem, had been rear-ended by a Chrysler Sebring operated by Sharon Armstrong, 63, also of Salem, when the first vehicle slowed to make a left turn into a parking lot. Both vehicles had been traveling east toward Restaurant Row at the time of the accident.
Armstrong told police she “never saw any brake lights” on the vehicle ahead of her and that she thought “they stopped suddenly,” according to the log. A witness to the accident said “he did not recall seeing any brake lights activate” either. Another witness did not comment on the brake lights but said he’d seen the first car use its signals.
Armstrong was cited for following too closely. She reported suffering from neck and back pain after the accident and was transported to North Shore Medical Center.
Melendez complained of neck pain but was not hospitalized. Two of her four passengers — George Melendez, 37, of Salem, and Demeitreus Sanabia, 19, also of Salem — were transported to North Shore Medical Center with neck and back pain.
Another passenger in that vehicle, an 11-year-old girl, sustained neck pain and a headache after the accident, but she was not hospitalized. The final passenger, a 5-year-old boy, was reportedly uninjured in the crash.
There were no passengers in Armstrong’s vehicle, according to the log.
The Sonata sustained damage to its rear bumper, trunk, fenders and rear window. The Sebring had damage to its front bumper, hood and grill.
Both vehicles were towed.