One person was killed and four others injured in a four-car crash Monday around 1:15 p.m. on Route 1 near Governor's Academy.
Newbury police Chief John Lucey Jr. said the person killed was an elderly man who minutes earlier was seen by Rowley police driving erratically on Route 1 north near the town line.
The man's identity has yet to be released pending notification of his family.
What caused the crash is still under investigation by local and state police, but Lucey said it appeared the victim lost control of his sub-compact near Elm Street, hit a guardrail and then veered into the southbound lane striking an oncoming car head-on. Two other cars, another one driving south and another at the corner of Elm Street were also damaged in the crash.
In all, four people were transported to the hospital, two deemed in serious conditions and two as a precaution, according to Lucey.
"It was definitely a violent crash," Lucey said, calling it one of the most destructive he's seen in his long career with the department.
The crash and ensuing investigation caused the heavily travelled road to be closed in both directions for several hours before police reopened it around 5 p.m.
Lucey said that despite social media-based comments, there was no police pursuit. By the time the Rowley police officer saw the victim's car, it had already reached the town line.