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Milford Teen Killed in Holiday Weekend Crash

Milford resident Jackie Gray who died in a July 3 car accident near her home on Congress St. is shown with friends in the Hopedale Parklands during a nature walk. They are, l-r, Marlee D'Angelo, Kristin Krauss, Jackie and Emily Wood. Contributed photo

A 2015 Milford High graduate died just steps from her home after a freak car accident last Sunday night on Congress St., police said.

Jacqueline Gray, 19, was killed when the driver of the Ford SUV she was riding in lost control of the car due to a mechanical failure of some kind and slammed into a telephone pole before striking a parked van, Milford Police Chief Tom O'Loughlin said.

"The driver reports there was smoke inside the vehicle and said she couldn't control it," O'Loughlin said. "It's accelerating, some mechanical issue, and she told her five passengers inside to jump."

The driver, an 18-year-old girl from Milford, and at least one other passenger in the SUV leapt from the moving car, the chief said. As of Monday night, police were still working to reconstruct the accident and it had not been determined whether Gray leapt from the car or was ejected, O'Loughlin added.

Gray's younger brother, 17, was in the car, along with an 18-year-old girl from Milford and two sisters from Upton, 19 and 17, O'Loughlin said. All other passengers escaped with minor injuries and were treated and released from Milford Regional Medical Center, O'Loughlin said.

Witnesses described a chaotic scene and said Gray's mother, a nurse at Brookside Elementary School, tried to save her daughter as she lay in the street.

"I heard the car hit the pole and watched it hit the van, I ran up to the car and everyone was out of the car, they were screaming her name," said Joe Blodgett, a next-door neighbor and family friend. "I turned and saw her in the road."

Blodgett said Gray's mother performed CPR while he held the girl's neck. He said the group of kids in the car were coming back from JJ's Ice Cream Shoppe in Upton where

Gray worked and had planned to join a friends

watching the Milford fireworks in their backyard.

"Man, it's tough," Blodgett said. "I thought she was going to make it."

"Jackie did really well in school, she never got in trouble, she was a very, very good kid," said neighbor Jillian Barraclough. "You'll never meet anyone that good, she was unbelievable."

Joan Camelli heard an explosion as the SUV struck the telephone pole and then her van and said she ran outside and saw everyone standing around the crash, visibly upset.

"The mother was trying to give her CPR, trying to help her," Camelli said. "She is a very nice lady, very close to her daughter, it's going to be a horrible loss."

O'Loughlin said police officer and paramedic Robert Tusino was the first responder on scene after the crash."From what he reported to me, she was in grave danger, he did what he could and called for the helicopter," O'Loughlin said. "It's heartbreaking, I've seen her family around town and I've seen her over at the ice cream place. It's just heartbreaking."


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