Two-vehicle crash sends three to hospital

The blue Subaru overturned at the intersection of Barnes Road and Edgartown-West Tisbury Road. — Edgartown Police Department

Updated Nov. 30

A two-vehicle accident Monday at the intersection of Edgartown–West Tisbury Road and Barnes Road in Edgartown sent three people to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital with injuries, Edgartown Police Chief Bruce McNamee told The Times in an email. 

When The Times arrived on scene, a Toyota Tundra with a dent in its side was on a tow truck, and a Subaru Tribeca was rolled over on its side, off the road. The crash backed up traffic in each direction.

Edgartown Fire, EMS, and Police were dispatched to the scene. State Police were also on the scene directing traffic.

The Tundra, operated by Max Celeste, received “extensive damage” to the driver-side front of the vehicle.

When police arrived on scene, a juvenile who was a passenger in the Subaru, operated by Tina Polleys, was outside the car, while Polleys was trapped in the driver’s seat, and had to be freed by mechanical means by fire department personnel.

According to a witness in the police report who was driving behind the Subaru, the Subaru appeared to be intending to turn left onto West Tisbury Road while the Toyota was traveling in the westbound lane and nearing Barnes Road. 

“As the Toyota entered the intersection, the Subaru suddenly accelerated and attempted to navigate a left-hand turn. The Toyota was unable to stop in time, and the driver-side front of the Toyota struck the Subaru in the driver-side door area. The impact caused the Subaru to roll over on the roadway, and ended up resting on its driver side on the shoulder of the eastbound lane,” the report states.

The witness told police the Toyota appeared to be traveling at an appropriate speed, and the operator had no chance of stopping in time to avoid a collision. 

Celeste told police he saw the Subaru stopped in the left-turn lane, and assumed the operator saw him coming. 

“Celeste stated that as soon as he entered the intersection, the Subaru suddenly accelerated and pulled in front of him. Celeste said he attempted to quickly turn and brake to avoid the crash, but was unable to,” the report states.

Police were unable to get a full statement from Polleys, who was undergoing treatment at the hospital, but she told police, “I never saw him coming,” according to the report.

After speaking with both parties, police charged Polleys with negligent operation and failure to yield to approaching motor vehicles. Polleys was also charged with unlicensed operation after a status check showed her license expired.

In a follow-up email to The Times, McNamee said there have been 27 motor vehicle accidents at the Barnes Road/Edgartown–West Tisbury Road intersection in the past five years.

Updated to include comments from McNamee and information from police report. — Ed.


    • Fantastic idea Don! The roundabout at WT and EDG road has been a major success; not only for traffic flow but for safety. There are several places the island could use a roundabout. How about at the T intersection in VH and of course 5 corners. Hard to get people to buy into it though when it might take away some grass or maybe a few trees. But it would definitely improve traffic in the Summer and peoples safety 12 months out of the year.

  1. Mike– Thanks for your comment.
    But I think a roundabout at the T intersection in V.H and 5 corners will not work. The reason being that during the summer as traffic backs up at both of those intersections, there is no where for traffic to escape. If one spike of the roundabout can’t be exited from , the whole thing comes to a complete stop in all directions. No one can get in or out.
    Same thing at the triangle in Edgartown.
    But one would work at the 4 way intersection by the O.B fire station.

  2. Many people have been asking for a round about at this intersection for years it is not a new idea. The MVC has been asked, the Town of Edgartown has been asked and no progress report has been filed. Also the Airport exit needs to be fixed as well as that is a mess also. Come on people who are in public office and do your job.

    • Bob– We are all thankful that no one was seriously injured in this accident.
      Someone got lucky– But perhaps this will put some pressure on the public officials to do something. Let’s not wait until the next time when a family of 4 is not so lucky.
      To the public officials reading this– you have had your example of what can happen.
      To do nothing is negligent.
      That blinking stop sign might help with drunks at night, but it is a band aid.
      I agree with Bob— Do your job

  3. So what does this intersection, 4 corners by the OB Fire Station, the Triangle and Edg Rd/ State Rd intersection all have in common? The roundabout increased congestion and lessened safety at each intersection. Relieving a bottleneck in one area just redirects the problem to other locations. Many who were opposed to the roundabout had hoped the MVC, being a regional entity, would have rejected the roundabout in favor of a more regional solution.

    • There were quite a few people, including myself, who objected to the insertion of a roundabout at the intersection of Barnes Road and the Vineyard Haven-Edgartown Road. Count me among the converted, as I stated publicly at an OB Selectmen’s meeting after it was built. As someone who rather frequently goes from Oak Bluffs to the State Forest area, I am much happier to go through the roundabout than I was to try to bluff my way across the intersection against speeding traffic. That intersection is still a little dicey, but I feel safer entering the traffic flow around the roundabout than attempting to dart across the intersection.

    • John– Are you insulating that this accident was somehow caused by a long line of vehicles waiting to turn left onto the West Tisbury road ? I don’t see any mention of that here.
      I am just curious as to what you think may have been a “more regional solution” to the obvious problems caused by the 4 way stop sign .

  4. I almost had a similar accident years ago and the circumstances were almost identical. I was lucky – the car pulling out didn’t hit me and I didn’t hit it but it was so close that I never forgot.

  5. Thank goodness everyone was alright. Tina and Audrey (my sister-in-law and niece) are wonderful people. Thank you to everyone who helped them (and Max) through this ordeal.

  6. Safety is more important than convenience.

    People using the road make mistakes (like speeding, running stop signs and red lights, turning left in front of oncoming traffic), always have and always will. Crashes will always be with us, but they need not result in fatalities or serious injury.

    Modern roundabouts are the safest form of intersection in the world – the intersection type with the lowest risk of fatal or serious injury crashes – (much more so than comparable signals). Modern roundabouts require a change in speed and alter the geometry of one of the most dangerous parts of the system – intersections.

    The reduction in speed to about 20 mph and sideswipe geometry mean that, when a crash does happen at a modern roundabout, you might need a tow truck, but rarely an ambulance. Visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or FHWA for modern roundabout FAQs and safety facts.

    • The statistics about safety alone should prompt the state to put a roundabout at every appropriate intersection. But let’s not forget that going through an intersection at 20 mph instead of coming to a complete stop saves a considerable amount of gas.
      Here’s a letter to the editor I wrote about 10 years ago addressing the fuel savings of a roundabout vs the 4 way stop.

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