SUV fire and three-car wreck hit West Tisbury over weekend

The scene of a three-car accident in West Tisbury on Saturday that saw the driver of a Toyota Highlander cited for a marked lanes violation and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. — Courtesy of West Tisbury Police

West Tisbury first responders dealt with two dramatic vehicle crashes over the weekend. On Friday evening, a Chevy Blazer erupted in flames by Brandy Brow. Saturday afternoon a multiple-vehicle collision on Edgartown–West Tisbury Road sent three motorists to the hospital.

At about 5:15 pm, Friday firefighters and police responded to the intersection of State and Edgartown–West Tisbury Roads by Brandy Brow. The driver of a 1994 Chevy Blazer had attempted to get his vehicle off the road because of mechanical problems, according to Lt. “Skipper” Manter. The driver of a 2014 Toyota RAV4 tried to drive around the Blazer and wound up clipping its bumper and causing minor damage. At about that time, black smoke billowed from the hood of the Blazer, and the vehicle ignited. Manter said it was unclear if the smoke began before or after the bumpers hit, but in any case, the collision was not what caused the fire. Nobody was injured in the accident or the fire. Neither of the motorists was cited. The fire was extinguished quickly with foam, Fire Chief Manuel Estrella III said. Mutual aid was not required.

At approximately 3:55 pm on Saturday, West Tisbury Police and Fire and Tri-Town Ambulance responded to a three-vehicle crash on Edgartown–West Tisbury Road near the intersection of Red Pony Road. Nancy Ghiglione of Chilmark, the 75-year-old driver of a 2013 Toyota Highlander, crossed the centerline into oncoming traffic, sideswiped a 1977 Royal camper, then hit a 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander, according to Lt. Manter. Ghiglione, the driver of the camper, who was from Hyannis, and the driver of the Outlander, 35-year-old Vanessa Mathews of Aquinnah, were all taken to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries.

Also transported to the hospital, after taking shelter in a good Samaritan Bluefish Taxi cab, were Ghiglione’s five grandchildren, who had been in the Highlander with her during the accident. The children were all under 12 years old, and were medically examined as a precaution. Manter said. Ghiglione was cited for a marked lanes violation and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. Despite thunderstorms that afternoon, Manter said weather does not appear to have been a factor in the collisions. Chilmark Police, Edgartown Police and EMS, Tisbury EMS, and Oak Bluffs EMS also responded to the scene.

Sgt. Matt Gebo is the investigating officer for both the fire and the crash.