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WESTERLY — Four people were taken to area hospitals with injuries Saturday night after the police said a driver who was distracted by his friends ran through a stop sign at the intersection of Sherwood Drive, striking a car driving north along Route 1 head-on.

Westerly police, personnel with Westerly Ambulance and firefighters with both the Dunn's Corners and Westerly fire departments were called to the intersection of Post Road and Sherwood Drive around 7 p.m. for reports of a crash, Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said.

Lacey said when officers arrived, they found a Toyota Rav4 and Mercedes Benz both heavily damaged and immobile, each facing away from the direction of travel. All occupants were already out of the cars when police arrived.

"Fortunately, there were no life threatening injuries," Lacey said. "The driver of the Mercedes was bleeding from the head and taken to Rhode Island Hospital. His passengers and the driver of the Mustang were all taken to Westerly Hospital by ambulance."

All three are expected to make a full recovery, the police said.

Lacey said an investigation determined that the driver of the Rav4, 30-year-old Matthew LaPlume of Westerly, was driving north along Route 1 when the Mercedes, driven by 18-year-old Decio Eoanou, also of Westerly, ran through the stop sign.

Lacey said after speaking with the passengers in the Mercedes, an 18-year-old male and 16-year-old female, it was determined that the two were playing a game of "keep away" involving a cell phone. All three indicated that Eoanou was part of the game and was distracted, which led to his driving onto Route 1 without stopping, leading to the crash.

The driver was cited with several motor vehicle violations, the police said. The road was closed for a short time to allow for response and cleanup.

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