One driver killed, another charged in Tisbury collision

Emergency crews respond to a crash on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven Saturday night. -Rich Saltzberg

Updated Dec. 20 at 1:15 

Emma Hall, 22, of Oak Bluffs was killed Saturday night in a head-on collision at around 8 pm on Beach Road in Tisbury, according to a state police statement. Zachary Dupon, 25, of Oak Bluffs has been charged with motor vehicle homicide by reckless operation, speeding, and marked lanes violation in relation to Hall’s death. 

A preliminary investigation by state police indicates Dupon was behind the wheel of a 2002 Nissan SUV traveling southbound on Beach Road, state police spokesman Dave Procopio wrote in a press release. “According to the evidence, Dupon moved into the northbound lane to pass two southbound vehicles that were in front of him. Dupon passed the other vehicles and then, still going south the northbound lane, struck, head-on, a 2010 Volkswagen Beetle that was traveling northbound,” Procopio wrote.

Hall, who was driving the Beetle, was pronounced dead at the scene. Two unidentified female passengers — one a teenager and the other a young adult — sustained injuries and were taken to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. One of them was subsequently transported to a Boston Hospital, the release states. 

Dupon sustained minor injuries and was subsequently taken into state police custody. He is being held on $25,000 cash bail at the Dukes County jail and is expected to be arraigned Monday. 

Beach Road was closed for much of the night to allow police to investigate the collision. It reopened early Sunday morning. The collision occurred near the R.M. Packer Marine Terminal. 

At about 10pm Saturday night, a West Tisbury cruiser had Beach Road cordoned at Five Corners. Other police vehicles blocked the road from Oak Bluffs. Tisbury cruisers protected the crash site for investigation.

Dupon’s SUV was on its roof with a crushed front end, at least two doors open, glass blown out of several windows, and interior contents and crash debris spread around it. The Volkswagen, which was located closer the Lagoon Pond Bridge on the opposite side, appeared upright and appeared too damaged to see clearly. Tisbury Police announced Sunday the road reopening in a 3:21 am Facebook post.


  1. Twice last week, trucks passed me speeding, one passing cars in my line and another drifted into my lane on a cell phone. It is crazy. The illegal speeding and passing cars in the ongoing lane-had very sad outcome last night. I hope there is someway to put cameras where this is most prominent to catch and cite these drivers.

  2. So very very sad and completely unnecessary 1 life stolen and many lives shattered all due to the foolish selfishness of one

  3. I have been living in Bangkok Thailand for over 15 years now. I used to spend a lot of time on MV, taking care of 2 rental properties for friends from Pennsylvania. Anyway, when it is night time in BKK, it is daytime on MV, 12 hours difference. I frequently watch YouTube Live Webcam of the ferry Dock and Five Corners. Saturday night here I could see the police car blocking entrance to Beach Road, with the caution lights flashing. I wondered what happened, now I know after reading The Vineyard Times on line. Thank You for having the webcams. I miss The Vineyard very much, however I don’t miss the cold weather. It is Dec 21 here and the outside temp is 87 degrees F.

  4. We live on Beach Road, not far from the accident. We, along with everyone else on Beach Road signed a petition initiated by Ralph Packer to reduce the speed limit to 20 mph. Mass DOT responded that they are smoothing out the curve in the road and will increase the speed limit. As observers and living in the middle of it if I drive 20 mph vehicles will accelerate often to pass and double the speed. I observed tire skid tracks on what is to become a bike shared use path, completely unprotected, by the group of shade trees recently cut down. They softened the landscape, shaded walkers and cyclists, offered a nuanced and pleasant entrance to Beach Road and were planted by the Friends of Tisbury 40 years ago. The accident is tragic for all involved, and our hearts go out to all including the young man and especially for him who made a mistake. But the cutting of the trees, the installation of very industrial looking tall utility poles, the increase of the speed limit, the removal of a curve that slowed traffic, this is our future.

    • I don’t really know if the increase in speed limit makes it more or less dangerous but it seems that it had little to do with this tragedy. Driver was impatient that the cars in front of him were going too slow so he decided to pass them on a double yellow at a high rate of speed and killed an innocent young woman. A 20mph speed limit would not have prevented that.

    • Sir, without taking the time here to point out the internal inconsistencies of your argument, please don’t use this accident as a case study to advance your years long advocacy against the shared use path. Your arguments are often multifarious, with the only common thread being what is convenient to your ’cause’.

      A double yellow line means no passing, regardless of the speed limit. The proposed shared use path can’t bear the moral responsibility of impulsive and potentially criminal behavior.

    • Frank Brunelle, a young woman has tragically lost her life do the the recklessness of another and you come here and comment about your letters to the Mass DOT, trees and bike lanes. This is absolutely not the time or place for your agenda. Show some respect!

    • This tragedy will change the lives of the young woman’s family forever. We can place blame in many places, but Frank’s reach-out to include the other driver in “our hearts” is , in my mind what will save our world.

  5. First, my sincere condolences to the family and friends of the victim of this tragedy, and the other victims who survived. A trauma like this will affect everyone concerned for the rest of their lives.
    Then let me address Frank’s comment, and those who criticize him for it.
    After a tragedy like this, there will be those who say this is not the time to talk about a project that has become somewhat politicized , but I disagree. Now, while emotions are fresh, is exactly the right time to address the safety issues associated with the beach road project.
    Frank is absolutely correct with his assertion that bicyclist and pedestrians using the shared use path have no protection from a reckless driver. It really doesn’t matter what the speed limit is, or how the lines are painted if an impatient reckless driver ignores them.
    If anything good could possibly come from this tragedy, it may very well be that the powers that be take another look at how exposed the bicyclists and pedestrians will be with a shared use path that is physically completely unprotected from vehicular traffic. Not everyone obeys the speed limits, the lines in the road, or the generally accepted “rules of the road”. Even if they do, they may sometimes be distracted, or a mechanical failure ( like a tire blow out) can cause an unexpected deviation from the intended path.
    Some sort of physical barrier ( like some sort of sturdy “shrubbery” )to separate vehicles from bikers and pedestrians could be instrumental in preventing a future tragedy.
    If Emma’s tragic death could spur an initiative to prevent any future tragedies, it could perhaps lessen the pain.
    I propose that that stretch of road, and any improvements in safety that may be implemented because of this incident be named in her memory.

    • First I’d like to extend my condolences to Emma’s family. Second I’d like to set it straight that this has absolutely nothing to do with what you (don keller) are talking about … I witnessed the entire thing and was one of the first ones on the scene He was beeping his horn yelling at us while he passed up going 60 plus mph and had 100 plus yards to move back into the correct lane. Let alone the fact that we immediately pulled over when he was passing us so he could get back over. He never let off the gas or hit his brakes. Completely reckless… The only fault here is that kid that Hit poor Emma. No one in a normal state of mind would lose control of what they are doing like that. Again you weren’t there, you didn’t see it. You have no right to an opinion on what should and shouldn’t be done. Justice needs to be served and that involves locking that kid up, not fixing a road or whatever you’re talking about. MV Times needs to fix their article to reflect the story more accurately

      • Hi Ken, I’ve edited your comment to take out some information that couldn’t be posted. We would like to speak with you. Give me a call at 508-693-6100, ext #11 (You need to hit pound). Thank you.

  6. Hello everyone, I just wanted to ask that if you choose to comment on this tragic story, please take a moment to think of Emma’s family and loved ones. They are reading this post and your comments. Please be mindful of their feelings, their heartbreak. If we can fill this comment section with love, kindness, and support, in the way that Emma surely would, then we can make a small, positive impact. I understand the urge to comment on the accident, but these thoughts can be incredibly painful to read. Please join me in spreading love and compassion for the Halls in this space.

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