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REHOBOTH - A Taunton man drove his van into two workmen unloading sections of fencing from a parked truck on Route 44 Monday morning, injuring both men, one seriously, police said.

The van driver, Paul G. Ducharme, 63, of Taunton, fled the scene but was arrested a short time later on Route 44 in Seekonk, police said.

The injured men, Sean McGuirk, 21, and Johnathan Ribeiro, 26 - both from Rehoboth and both employees of McGuirk Fence Co. - were unloading fencing from a truck parked in front of their office at 250 Winthrop St. (Route 44) just before 11 a.m. when the van drove into them.

Both men were taken to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence by Rehoboth ambulance, police said.

McGuirk, who police said was directly struck by the van, was seriously injured, and listed in critical condition in the hospital's trauma unit. Ribeiro, who police said suffered minor injuries, was listed in stable condition.

Police said the van was heading west on Route 44 when it struck McGuirk and Ribeiro.

Witnesses describe van

Several witnesses told police that the van sustained front-end damage and fled west on Route 44.

Police alerted local police departments to look out for the van and a short time later, Seekonk police stopped a van matching the description on Route 44. Ducharme was arrested by Rehoboth police after a brief roadside investigation.

Ducharme, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, subsequent offense. Further charges could be pending, police said.

Rehoboth police, the Massachusetts State Police Accident Reconstruction Unit, and the Massachusetts State Police Crime Prevention and Control Unit assigned to Bristol County are investigating the incident.

Ducharme was treated at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro for minor injuries and other unrelated medical issues, police said.

http://www.thesunchronicle.com/articles/2008/08/12/news/3514166.txt
 
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