Fred Alden, Chief of Police
893 Main Street
Ashby, MA 01431
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Ashby Police Cite Man Following Collision With Radar Trailer
ASHBY — Chief Fred Alden reports that the Ashby Police Department is charging a driver who allegedly crashed into an Ashby Police speed trailer early Sunday morning.
As a result of the investigation into the crash, the operator of the vehicle, a 20-year-old man from Ashby, was issued a citation charging him with:
- Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle
- Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Crash
- Marked Lanes Violation
At 1:46 a.m. on Sunday, June 10, Ashby Police were dispatched to the area of 213 Fitchburg State Road for a report of a single vehicle crash involving a department radar trailer.
Upon arrival, an officer located an unoccupied car parked along the northbound lane of the road with heavy front-end damage and its airbags deployed. The officer also observed an Ashby Police Department radar trailer that was approximately 90 feet from where it had previously been placed. The trailer was broken into several pieces.
Following an on-scene investigation, Ashby Police identified a suspect, who had left the scene, and later were able to locate that individual. After further investigation, officers concluded that the driver may have fallen asleep prior to the crash.
Nobody was injured during the crash.
“Driving while tired is extremely dangerous,” Chief Alden said. “Just like you should never drive while you’re impaired by alcohol, driving while tired puts you and everyone else on the road at risk. I urge everyone to remember to only to get behind the wheel if you are fully alert and awake.”
The total cost of the damage to both the trailer and the vehicle involved is estimated at over $9,000.
How to Avoid Drowsy Driving
Sunday’s crash was the fifth drowsy driving related crash in Ashby since January. People suffered minor injuries in two of those crashes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 803 people died in drowsy driving related crashes nationwide in 2016.
To prevent these crashes, the NHTSA and Ashby Police wish to remind motorists:
- Making healthy sleep — seven or eight hours a night — a priority, especially before long drives, is the only way to truly prevent tiredness behind the wheel.
- Drinking coffee or energy drinks alone is not always enough. They might help you feel more alert. However, the effects last only a short time, and you might not be as alert as you think you are. If you drink coffee and are seriously sleep-deprived, you still may have “micro sleeps” or brief losses of consciousness that can last for four or five seconds. This means that at 55 miles per hour, you’ve traveled more than 100 yards down the road while asleep. That’s plenty of time to cause a crash.
- If you start to get sleepy while you’re driving, drink 1-2 cups of coffee and pull over for a short 20-minute nap in a safe place, such as a lighted designated rest stop. This has been shown to increase alertness in scientific studies but only for short time periods.