RANDOLPH — A Massachusetts man was killed when his car collided nearly head-on with a tractor-trailer on Route 2 early last Saturday.

State Police said Anthony Ortega, 23, of Framingham, Mass., was traveling east on Route 2 shortly before 3 a.m. when his car collided with a tractor-trailer heading west driven by Mark Mellish, 50, of Bellows Falls, Vt. The accident occurred less than a mile west of the Appalachia parking lot.

Ortega was declared dead at the scene from fatal injuries received in the accident.

Mellish was not injured.

Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the accident. Anyone with information about the accident is asked to contact Trooper Alex Peplinski at (603) 271-1170 or alex.peplinksi@dos.nh.gov.

A GoFundMe page set up for Ortega said he died “doing what he loved — exploring the mountains of New Hampshire.”

Route 2 was closed to traffic for the rest of Saturday morning, and motorists were detoured onto Durant Road.

Assisting at the scene were the state police collision analysis reconstruction unit, Randolph police and fire, Gorham fire and EMS, Jefferson fire department, and the state medical examiner’s office.

It has been a tragic eight months on an approximately five mile stretch of Route 2 in Randolph with three fatal accidents during that period resulting in nine fatalities.

In June, seven motorcyclists with the JarHead Motorcycle Club were killed when struck by a pickup truck hauling a trailer. The driver of the truck, Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, of West Springfield, Mass., has been charged with seven counts of negligent homicide in the accident. That accident happened just east of the Jefferson Notch Motel.

Earlier this year, a 20-year-old Berlin man was killed when icy conditions caused a pickup carrying a group on their way to work pulled off the road to allow conditions to improve. A tractor-trailer going in the opposition direction slid across the road, and Leo Croteau was struck as he exited the vehicle to try and avoid the impact. The Berlin High graduate had just started a new job.

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