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BREAKING NEWS: Route 20 crash claims 70-year-old Spencer woman's life

Three fatalities in separate accidents

August 01, 2009


CHARLTON — The warm, sunny weather on Saturday was marred by tragedy as a two-vehicle crash on Route 20 claimed the life of a female passenger and seriously injured one driver.

A preliminary investigation by State Police indicated a 2009 Volkswagon SUV collided with a 2005 Ford Escape at the intersection of Route 20 and Richardson Corner Road around 10:25 a.m.

The victim, who police identified as 70-year-old Joyce Mitchell, was a passenger in the Escape, operated by 75-year-old Karl Mitchell of Spencer. A State Police spokesman said he did not know whether the two were husband and wife.

Police identified Alena Y. Komissarova, 44, of Charlton as the driver of the SUV. She was taken by ambulance to UMass Medical Center with what police described as minor injuries.

Karl Mitchell was taken by helicopter to UMass Medical Center with serious injuries.

Joyce Mitchell was pronounced dead at the scene.

A nursing supervisor at UMass Medical late Saturday afternoon said Mitchell was in critical condition. Komissarova, she said, was treated and released.

The crash remained under investigation late Saturday with the assistance of the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section and the Sate Police Crime Scene Services Section. The Charlton police and fire departments, along with Oxford police and fire personnel, responded to the scene.


The fatality was the third in several hours on a state highway.

Earlier Saturday, around 6:40 a.m., an elderly couple was killed as both attempted to change a tire on their camper in the breakdown lane on Route 395 North in Webster, before Exit 1.

Robert G. Farner, 81, and Chloe K. Farner, 77, both of Cottonwood Shores, Texas, were killed when, according to State Police a 2006 Nissan Altima driven by 21-year-old Geoffrey K. Wahome of Lowell first struck the 2005 Dodge truck with which the Farner's had been towing a camper. The Altima also struck both victims, before rolling over and coming to a rest in the breakdown lane.

The Farners were pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said Wahome was seriously injured and was taken by ambulance to UMass Medical Center in Worcester.

Return to theheartofmasschusetts.com later for more information. Also, read Monday's Southbridge Evening News for coverage of this story.

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