SOMERSET, MASS. (WHDH) - A Somerset woman involved in a violent, head-on crash with a Somerset police cruiser early Friday morning has died, officials said.
An officer responding to a report of a man attempting to break into a truck in the parking lot of the Grid Iron Pub about 12:30 a.m. collided head-on with a Honda Civic on Route 138, according to Somerset police.
The driver of the Honda, Hailey Allard, a 20-year-old nursing student at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, was taken to Charlton Memorial Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.
Friends and loved ones held a vigil Friday night to honor Allard.
“She didn’t deserve this. She worked hard. She was going into her junior year of nursing school. She was doing so well,” said Madison Guarneri, one of Allard’s friends. “She was just so kind to everyone.”
The 4-year veteran of the Somerset Police Department, whose name has not been disclosed, was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where he was treated and released.
A man who witnessed the crash said the officer did everything he could to save the other driver.
“He smashed the window to try and help the lady that he hit but I guess it was too late,” he said.
The collision left both vehicles and a utility pole heavily damaged.
The crash is being investigated by troopers assigned to Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn’s Office.
“We are all saddened by this horrible tragedy,” Somerset police said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the person who passed away.”
Robert E. Johnson, chancellor of the University of Massachusetts, also issued a statement.
“In her time with us, Hailey made her mark on friends, faculty, and staff. She has been described to me as bright, perpetually positive, and hard-working student,” the statement read. “She constantly demonstrated how much she cared about her fellow students, especially in her work as a resident assistant and as a mentor to other nursing students … Hailey’s sudden passing is a reminder to all of us how precious our time on earth is, and the importance of using our limited time to serve others.”
Allard’s family also issued a statement, describing her as an “exceptional young woman.”
“This is a complete and utter tragedy. Hailey was an exceptional young woman. Her mother and father cannot express the heaviness in their hearts and the pain that they will carry forever.”
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