Wedding Crashers: Car accident before nuptials adds to big day to remember



  • The Toyota Tacoma, front, and Toyota Prius after the crash Saturday. Courtesy

  • Hayden Benson and his groomsmen with officers from the Hopkinton Fire and Police department after the crash on Saturday. Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 9/11/2023 4:53:36 PM

Just a mile from their wedding venue, an accident threatened to disrupt Hayden Benson and Nicole Robillate’s wedding ceremony, but thanks to the timely response of the Hopkinton Police and Fire departments, the ceremony proceeded without a hitch.

After planning their wedding for a year and a half, the couple were ready to get married on Saturday at Benson’s parents’ farm on Jewett Road in Hopkinton. The day seemed to be sailing smoothly until their truck, a Toyota Tacoma carrying Benson and four groomsmen, crashed into a Toyota Prius at the intersection of Interstate 89, right at the Hopkinton exit.

The Prius driver unexpectedly pulled out in front of the groomsman’s truck at a stop sign, Benson said, resulting in significant damage to both vehicles.

“It was a big bummer, but we were all okay,” said Benson. “Vehicles can be replaced but people can’t.”

All five men in the truck were first responders themselves. Benson, the groom, is a federal wildlife officer; his brother Peter Benson is a volunteer at the Hopkinton Fire Department; his cousin works in law enforcement, and the other two friends in the vehicle were also experienced first responders.

“It’s almost as if she couldn’t have picked a better car to pull out in front of because we are all either off-duty cops, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics,” said Benson. “So luckily, we could take care of each other and take care of her and get everything sorted out as fast as we could.”

Benson noted that it didn’t take long before Sergeant Brian O’Connor from the Hopkinton Police Department and Captain Nate Martel from the Hopkinton Fire Department arrived at the scene.

He said they gathered the required details, checked on the condition of everyone involved, and arranged for them to leave quickly with family members who had rushed to help them reach the wedding venue on time.

“They were there as fast as they could be to help us out,” said Benson. “We’re very thankful for them.”

No one was seriously hurt in the accident. The woman involved in the collision was taken to the hospital, but all those in the groomsmen’s truck managed to escape with minor scrapes and bruises.

“None of our clothing was ripped or stained. We were just pulling some airbag fluff off of each other. But for the most part, everything still worked out pretty well and it was kind of just like a ‘block it out, I’ll deal with it tomorrow situation,’ ” said Benson.

Back at the wedding venue, Benson’s sister, Courtney Karanasios, recalled how tense and chaotic the hour leading up to the ceremony was when the family received news of the accident.

“Two of my brothers were in the car as well as one of my cousins, so it was very scary initially and we didn’t know the extent of the accident,” said Karanasios. “Once we finally got to see them again, it was kind of like a relief ... It was a very emotional hour leading up to the wedding.”

Despite the unexpected twist, the wedding proceeded as planned, and the evening turned out to be nothing short of perfect.

“I’m going to remember this forever and it’s a story for the grandkids,” said Benson, reflecting on the rollercoaster of emotions that led to their special day.

Sruthi Gopalakrishnan

Sruthi Gopalakrishnan covers environmental and energy stories in Bow, Hopkinton, Dunbarton and Warner for the Concord Monitor. In 2022, she graduated from Northwestern University with a master's degree in journalism, specializing in investigative reporting. She also has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Engineering and is always looking for new ways to incorporate data and visual elements into her stories. Her work has appeared in Energy News Network, Prism Reports and Crain's Chicago Business.

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