According to news reports, Thebeau was driving a paving dump truck in the middle lane of Route 1 south Wednesday when a commercial vehicle swerved and struck the dump truck. Thebeau was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH), transportation incidents were the leading cause of fatal injuries to workers in 2014, contributing to the death of 17 workers.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of John R. Thebeau Jr,” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, MassCOSH’s executive director. “While the investigation is still underway, this tragedy shines a spotlight on the importance of safety measures that just might save another worker’s life.”
The Massachusetts State Police are seeking the public’s help in locating a vehicle that may have been involved in the fatal crash on Route 1 in Saugus before fleeing the scene.
According to the state police, a silver or gray Honda CRV sport utility vehicle, specifically, an older model with a spare tire compartment attached to the rear hatch door, may have triggered a sequence of events that led to the fatal crash shortly after 2 p.m. Specifically, the Honda CRV may have caused the commercial vehicle, which was travelling southbound in the right lane, to swerve to its left. When that commercial vehicle swerved to its left, it impacted the truck driven by Thebeau, which was travelling southbound in the middle lane. As a result of that impact, Thebeau’s dump truck spun out of control, rolled toward its passenger side, and hit the steel ribbon guardrail before coming to rest on its wheels perpendicular across the highway.
Immediately following the crash, the Honda may have entered the Taco Bell parking lot adjacent to the crash scene, before re-entering the highway and driving away. Anyone with information about a vehicle matching that description is urged to call Massachusetts State Police at (978) 745-8908 or (978) 538-6161.