Montague man, 70, ID’d in fatal crash

MONTAGUE — The pickup truck driver who died in a head-on crash Tuesday night was a 70-year-old Montague man, police reported Wednesday.

Warren Whitney, 70, of Whitney Way, was pronounced dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to Police Chief Charles “Chip” Dodge.

Whitney was headed south on Route 47 when his Chevrolet pickup hit a large tree head-on just west of the intersection with Route 63.

A fuel leak was ignited, and Montague Center firefighters had nearly put the fire out with extinguishers when the truck’s fuel tank went up in flames, said Sgt. Richard Suchanek.

Dodge said a single witness saw the crash and called it in.

“She said she observed the vehicle speeding and swerving prior to the accident” and nearly missing her own car, said Dodge. “She looked in her rearview, saw him crash and called us.”

Dodge said there were no skid marks from braking leading to the accident.

The state police accident reconstruction team is investigating, while the medical examiner will determine the cause of Whitney’s death.

Until then, said Dodge, it’s unclear just what caused the accident.

“We can’t rule anything out. He could have had a health problem; it could have been because of his driving, anything,” said Dodge. “We have to check everything, especially when someone’s that age.”

Police remained on scene for hours after the accident, closing Route 47 in both directions late into Tuesday night.

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