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Whitco

Man injured in rollover crash



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Sgt. Gerald Arvelo, right, watches firefighters load the unidentified driver from a rollover accident on Paige Hill Road onto a stretcher. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
August 25, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Police and neighbors say the driver of a one-car rollover accident on Paige Hill Road Wednesday was extremely lucky.

At about 5 p.m., police, fire and ambulance crews responded to the scene, finding a blue car on its roof across Paige Hill Road. The male driver was conscious and seemed to have suffered only minor injuries although the car was essentially totaled.

Sgt. Gerald Arvelo said it appeared he lost control of the car and went off the road, up a slight slope that caused the car to roll over. He said the man, whom he declined to identify at the scene, was still talking and had minor lacerations, but was taken to the hospital by ambulance as a precaution.

A neighbor, who only identified himself as Eric, said he heard the accident while making dinner. At first, he said, he heard "a flat tire sound" he speculated the driver was not aware of, followed shortly by a crash.

When Eric came out to look, he said, he saw the driver struggling to free himself of his seatbelt, so Eric cut it for him. At the time, Eric added, he could strongly smell alcohol on the man's breath and said he saw an open bottle in the car.

After the crash, a large bottle was seen sitting near the car, and even after the man had been placed in the ambulance, the vehicle still smelled of alcohol.

Arvelo, however, noted, "Smell alone isn't really enough" to charge someone with drunken driving.

"We see people flying through here constantly, but rarely do we see accidents," he added.

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