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Woman dead after head-on crash on Route 2 in Athol caused by attempt to pass in breakdown lane

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ATHOL, Massachusetts — One woman is dead after a four-vehicle crash on Route 2 in Athol police think was caused by a driver trying to pass in the breakdown lane.

State police say a 25-year-old Shirley woman was trying to pass in the eastbound breakdown lane at about 3 p.m. Thursday when she struck two other vehicles. One, a Toyota Prius, veered into the westbound lane where it was struck by a tractor-trailer.

A passenger in the Toyota, 68-year-old Carole Lawton, of Arlington, was killed. The driver, a 67-year-old Arlington man, was taken to a Worcester hospital with serious injuries.

The highway was shut down in both directions for more than four hours.

No other names were released.

The investigation is ongoing and no one has been charged.

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