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Overnight Newton Crash Sends State Trooper, Driver to Hospital

A Reading man faces charges after he allegedly struck a State Police cruiser on the Mass Pike in Newton, injuring a trooper and himself.

A Reading man faces several charges after he allegedly crashed his car into a State Police cruiser early Wednesday morning on the Mass Pike in Newton.

Peter A. Okarma, 30, faces charges of operating to endanger, entering a restricted zone and driving under the influence, State Police said.

According to State Police reports, a trooper was working a detail near Exit 16 on the westbound side of the Mass Pike around 2:45 a.m. Wednesday when Okarma allegedly struck the trooper's cruiser from behind. 

The force of the impact caused Okarma's car to flip over, reports said, trapping Okarma in the vehicle. Crews from the extricated Okarma, who was transported to Beth Israel Hospital.

Okarma, who was driving a 2001 Toyota Rav 4, remains hospitalized this morning.

The trooper suffered minor injuries, State Police said, and was transported to Mass General Hospital where he was later released.

According to reports, State Police shut down the two right lanes on the Mass Pike following the crash.

Earlier Wednesday morning, around 1:20 a.m., a wrong-way driver operating under the influence also struck a State Police cruiser on Route 24 in Randolph. The trooper working the detail at the time was attempting to put down stop sticks to puncture the tires of the wrong-way driver.

The trooper was uninjured in the accident. The driver and her passenger suffered minor injuries, reports said.

As a result of the Randolph crash, Mary K. McLaughlin, 25, of Weymouth, is charged with driving under the influence, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and wrong-way operation, police said. 

Steve Crowell June 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM
How is it still regarded as "safe" to park a cruiser in the breakdown lane of a highway? What is it going to take to get them to recognize that it is NOT safe. If I parked a dumpster in the breakdown lane of a highway and someone got killed hitting it with their car, I'd be held responsible. It seems the best way for that to happen would be to put blue lights on the dumpster. Maybe then I wouldn't be held responsible.

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