Hudson man killed, Nashua man facing charges after crash

CHELMSFORD, Mass. – A Nashua man faces charges for driving while drunk and other offenses in connection with Sunday’s three-vehicle crash on U.S. 3, which claimed the life of a 63-year-old Hudson resident, police said.

Massachusetts State Police as of late Monday hadn’t released the name of the victim, whose 1996 Toyota Camry was struck first by a Volkswagen Jetta, then by a Jeep Cherokee after the driver was unable to avoid the Camry.

Authorities arrested the driver of the Jetta, Christopher Thompson, 38, of Nashua, after a brief on-scene investigation, police said.

Officials charged Thompson with one count each of operating under the influence of alcohol causing serious bodily injury; negligent operation of a motor vehicle; and a state highway traffic violation, police said, adding that the charges “could be upgraded based on the results of the continuing investigation.”

Police said Thompson was booked on the charges then later released on $5,000 cash bail. He will be arraigned in Lowell district court this week, although police didn’t have a specific date as of Monday.

The crash happened just before 1:30 a.m. Sunday in the northbound lanes of U.S. 3 just north of Exit 32, police said.

A preliminary investigation determined that all three vehicles were headed north at the time of the crash. Police said Thompson’s Jetta struck the Camry from behind while both vehicles were traveling in the middle lane.

“Following the impact, the Jetta became disabled in the middle lane and the Camry came to rest across the right lane and the breakdown lane … ,” police said.

Moments later, the driver of the Jeep Cherokee, a 28-year-old Lowell man whom police didn’t identify, swerved to his right to avoid the disabled Jetta, but collided with the Camry.

Medical personnel transported the driver of the Camry to Lowell General Hospital, where he died of his injuries, police said.

Thompson and the driver of the Cherokee sustained minor injuries, for which they were treated at the scene, police said.

Officials said no charges have been brought against the driver of the Cherokee, but that could change depending on the findings of the investigation.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, or @Telegraph_DeanS.