Man Arrested, Four Teens Hospitalized in Two Claremont Crashes

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 3/23/2016 4:58:57 PM
Modified: 3/24/2016 12:00:16 AM

Claremont — A Claremont man, who police said hit a garage and car trailer at the intersection of Twistback Road and Citizens Street, was arrested after speeding away from police.

Louis Gratacos III, 19, who faces charges in a similar incident in December, is being charged with possession of controlled drugs, reckless conduct, driving after revocation, disobeying an officer and conduct after an accident, Claremont police said in a news release. Neither Gratacos nor an unidentified passenger in the vehicle were injured.

Police attempted to stop the 2002 Audi that Gratacos was driving at 10:45 a.m. on Central Street for a motor vehicle infraction, according to the news release.

Gratacos sped away on Sullivan Street toward Twistback, where the officer discontinued pursuit because of speed. Moments later, the officer saw that Gratacos had hit the garage and trailer and apprehended him after a brief foot pursuit, police said.

Authorities said that on Dec. 28, Gratacos crashed into a home on Maple Avenue, seriously injuring his passenger. That investigation continues with charges likely, police said.

Minutes later on Tuesday, around 11 a.m. on Elm Street, police responded to an unrelated single-car crash with multiple juvenile injuries in the area of 598 Elm St., not far from the Route 120 intersection.

Police said the driver, Travis Franklin-Tonini, 19, of Claremont, was not injured, but two of the four passengers had to be extricated and all four were taken by ambulance to Valley Regional Hospital with “serious but not life-threatening injuries.”

The 15- and 16-year-old passengers were not wearing seat belts, which police said was a contributing factor to the severity of their injuries.

Police said speed appears to have been a factor in that crash, but the incident remains under investigation.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at

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