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Rhode Island man dies in car crash in Plainville despite ‘valiant’ rescue effort from State Police

A Rhode Island man has died after he crashed into a median on Interstate 495 in Plainville early Tuesday, authorities say.

Sage A. Woodward, 23, of Pawtucket, was driving a 2008 BMW 3 Series when he struck a guardrail on the right side of the road, causing the car to veer left across all three lanes and into the median, according to a preliminary investigation.

The impact with the median caused the vehicle to go up in flames and into an embankment. Massachusetts State Police responded around 3:45 a.m. to multiple calls of a vehicle fire and a brush fire on I-495 south at mile marker 35.2 in Plainville.

Massachusetts State Police called the rescue mission a “valiant effort,” with a pair of troopers jumping into the embankment, finding Woodward in the passenger side of the BMW, face down in water. Another trooper began suppressing the flames with a fire extinguisher.

Troopers Bianca Vargas and Matthew Higgins, both out of the State Police-Foxboro Barracks, received assistance from two Good Samaritans who stopped at the scene and helped pull Woodward to a higher part of the embankment, where responders began performing CPR on the victim “for several minutes.”

Plainville EMS arrived on scene and finished the CPR before taking Woodward to Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Taunton, where he was pronounced deadly shortly after.

One of the troopers also went to the Taunton hospital for treatment of a laceration he suffered while at the scene.

The rescue response and investigation closed the highway’s left and center lanes for more than three hours before the scene cleared at 7 a.m.

The crash remains under investigation.

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