SAUGUS — A Saugus man who police say was operating under the influence Monday afternoon was arrested after he crashed into two other vehicles on Essex Street.
Jeffrey Farren, 34, of Saugus, was charged with operating under the influence of liquor and violating a town bylaw by having a knife with a blade larger than two-and-a-half inches long after he struck two cars just before 1:30 p.m.
In a video captured on a home security camera owned by Essex Street resident Al DiNardo, Farren can be seen losing control of the vehicle and striking a 2016 Toyota Rav4 in the opposite lane of traffic, then a parked 2005 Dodge pickup truck.
Saugus Police Lt. Ronald Giorgetti said the driver of the Rav4, a Saugus resident, was transported to an area hospital for medical attention. Farren was reportedly not injured
“The crash itself is still under investigation,” said Giorgetti.
At the same location in May, 47-year-old Kathleen Callahan of Saugus struck an MBTA bus head-on and was killed.
Police said she was initially traveling in the opposite lane, but may have struck a parked vehicle, causing her to veer into the MBTA bus lane.
Between 1 and 520 Essex Street, there have been 16 crashes this year, said Giorgetti. One at Essex and Vine Streets, one at Essex and School Streets, one at Essex Street and Broadway, and 13 at various other locations on the road. Three of the crashes were in January, two in February, three in March, three in April, one in May, and three in June.
DiNardo, who is a Town Meeting member, said part of the reason he installed his cameras was because of the number of crashes.
“There have been dozens of accidents in the vicinity of my home,” he said. “About 10 years ago, three young people were killed early in the morning. I went out to the double line and one was still alive and three were dead.”
DiNardo believes the problem stems from drivers taking shortcuts off of Route 1 to avoid traffic. The use of phone apps that create quicker routes by using side streets has only worsened the problem, he said.
“A lot of our problem is Route 1 backing up,” said DiNardo. “People get frustrated and they’re going faster than they should. We have a 1950s designed highway. Our state delegation should be working on this. It should be the top priority.”