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NORTH SMITHFIELD â€“ A 66-year-old woman died after her car slammed head-on into a tree on Great Road Tuesday morning.
North Smithfield Fire Chief Joel Jillson said the victim was transported to Rhode Island Hospital by LifeFlight helicopter after she was freed from the badly mangled vehicle. She was barely responsive as she was being lifted onto a stretcher, he told The Call. She died of her injuries at the hospital, police confirmed.
Jillson said firefighters from North Smithfield and neighboring Woonsocket both responded to the crash. It took crews about a half-hour to free the woman from the wreckage, using metal-cutting power saws.
The identity of the victim was not released as of press time.
â€śAll I can tell you is the police are investigating a very serious motor vehicle accident,â€ť a dispatcher at North Smithfield police headquarters said.
The woman was traveling southbound about 11:30 a.m. when her car abruptly veered off the road and struck a tree in front of 240 Great Road, apparently at a high rate of speed, according to Jillson.
After the victim was removed from the vehicle, Jillson said rescue crews transported her by ambulance to the medical helicopter, which was waiting to take her to the hospital from a takeoff site on Branch Avenue, about a half mile away.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the North Smithfield Police Accident Reconstruction Unit.
The victimâ€™s identity was being withheld until notification of next of kin, police said. Police are asking that anyone with any information about the crash to contact them by call the North Smithfield Police Department tip line at 762-9983.
Follow Russ Olivo on Twitter @russolivo