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Courier Carrying COVID-19 Samples Crashes On Interstate, Prompts Hazmat Response

A courier from Rhode Island who was carrying coronavirus samples between laboratories was involved in a three-car crash.

Seekonk, MA – A courier carrying coronavirus samples to a lab for testing was involved in a crash on Interstate 195 in Massachusetts on Tuesday.

The crash occurred at about 7:30 a.m. on April 7 in the westbound lanes of I-195 when a Honda Civic driven by a 49-year-old female courier from Rhode Island collided with a tractor trailer, The Sun Chronicle reported.

Police said that when the courier lost control of her vehicle, she slammed into an ambulance that was also on the highway.

The first officers to arrive on the scene spotted liquid spilled on the roadway and were concerned it had come from the medical samples that had been in the courier’s trunk, The Sun Chronicle reported.

“Initial observations of a liquid spill led first responders to suspect the samples may have spilled and a state hazardous materials response team responded to the scene,” Massachusetts State Police Spokesman Dave Procopio said in a statement.

A Massachusetts State Police HAZMAT crew responded to the scene and determined that none of the medical samples had been “compromised,” WBZ reported.

“Further investigation by the hazmat team revealed that the spilled liquid was the Honda driver’s coffee, and that the container holding the samples was intact and undamaged, as were the samples inside,” Procopio said.

The elderly patient who was being transported in the ambulance was moved to another medic unit and taken to a nearby hospital, WBZ reported.

The courier was transported to the hospital as a precaution because they wanted to make sure she hadn’t been exposed to any of the samples that were in her trunk.

Another courier was brought in to complete the delivery of the samples between the Lifespan laboratories, WBZ reported.

“A contract courier transporting a small number of samples from a Lifespan laboratory was involved in a traffic accident on I-195 in Seekonk this morning,” the company said in a written statement. “Medical and public safety officials responded and determined that the container seals were not broken and no risk was posed to the driver or first responders.”

Sandy Malone - April Wed, 2020


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