, Salem, MA

September 18, 2013

State police investigating Swampscott crash

By Neil H. Dempsey
Staff Writer

---- — SWAMPSCOTT — State police have taken over the investigation into the one-car crash on Stetson Avenue that sent four men to the hospital on Saturday morning — one with life-threatening injuries — because the driver is police Chief Ron Madigan’s nephew.

The accident occurred shortly before 1 a.m., when a vehicle “failed to negotiate” a curve to the left and crashed into the wall of a stone bridge abutment, state police spokesperson David Procopio said in an email yesterday.

“Why the operator failed to negotiate the curve is under investigation,” Procopio wrote.

Procopio said he was unable to name the four men inside but said they were all in their early to mid-20s and were from Swampscott and “nearby towns” — with one being Madigan’s nephew.

“One passenger suffered life-threatening injuries and was transported by medical helicopter to Mass. General,” he wrote. “The driver and two other passengers were transported by ambulance, one with serious injuries who was taken to Brigham and Women’s.”

Procopio said Swampscott police had asked the state police to handle the investigation, “even though the crash occurred on a road with local jurisdiction,” because the driver was related to Madigan.

“This is common practice in regard to local jurisdiction cases in cities and towns with similar circumstances,” he wrote. “It is something MSP does for local departments periodically, upon their request, to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.”

Procopio said Madigan should be commended for taking “the proper course of action.”

Troop A of the state police is conducting the investigation with assistance from the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section. The investigation is ongoing.