News, Police/Fire

Fiery crash on Route 1

(Massachusetts State Police)

State Police said a police pursuit ended in the Route 1 southbound tunnel in Lynnfield with a truck on fire and a medical helicopter response Monday shortly after noon.

According to a State Police tweet, Peabody police were pursuing a suspect when the crash occurred. Police closed all lanes on Route 1 south and limited lane use on Route 1 North.

Peabody Police spokesman Dennis Bonaiuto said a Peabody officer spotted a driver operating erratically on Main Street at 12:08 p.m. Monday and attempted to pull the driver over on Lowell Street.

Instead of stopping, the driver took the on-ramp onto Route 128 South and struck the curb, blowing two tires. Bonaiuto said the driver proceeded down Route 128 South with police in pursuit and exited onto Route 1 South even with two flat tires.

“He was losing control of the vehicle,” Bonaiuto said.

The driver came to a stop a quarter of a mile south of the Lynnfield tunnel with the driver’s door wedged against the guard rail. With the vehicle catching fire, Peabody and Lynnfield police officers, State Police and an employee from a nearby car dealership helped free the driver.

Bonaiuto said a medical evacuation helicopter transported the man to Massachusetts General Hospital with burns.

Bonaiuto identified the man as Robert Pingaro, 44 of 111 Rear Main St., Peabody, and said motor vehicle charges are pending against Pingaro.

Lynnfield and Peabody fire departments also sent crews to the scene. Route 1 North lanes reopened around 1 p.m. and a southbound lane was reopened by 1:30 p.m.

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