FAIRHAVEN — Fairhaven Police are investigating a serious crash on Route 240 that injured four people and shut down the southbound side of the highway for nearly four hours Wednesday afternoon.

At approximately 12:40 p.m., Fairhaven Police were called to a three-vehicle crash on the southbound side of Route 240, between Route 195 and Bridge Street in Fairhaven.

The initial investigation indicates that the driver of a black 2006 Nissan Frontier pickup truck, towing a boat, had a tire blown on the boat trailer and pulled off of the right side of the road onto the grass beside the breakdown lane.

As the driver of the truck and a passenger were outside of the vehicle inspecting the blown tire, the driver of a red 1997 Pontiac Trans Sport minivan allegedly lost control and collided with a blue 1996 Toyota Corolla that was driving in the right lane in front of it. The minivan spun out of control, and nearly struck the boat before going off of the road. The Toyota struck the boat, injuring both of the pedestrians that were standing beside the boat.

Upon arrival, officers closed the southbound side of the highway with the assistance of State Police.

One of the pedestrians, a 40-year-old Needham man, was seriously injured and was taken by ambulance to Rhode Island Hospital by Fairhaven Fire paramedics.

The second pedestrian, a 53-year-old Fall River man, was also seriously injured. A medical helicopter responded and landed on the southbound side of the highway to transport the man to Rhode Island Hospital. The northbound side of the road was closed for a short time while the helicopter was on scene.

The male operator and sole occupant of the minivan, a 51-year-old New Bedford man, was injured and transported by Mattapoisett Police paramedics by ambulance to Rhode Island Hospital.

The male operator and sole occupant of the Toyota Corolla, a 64-year-old Acushnet man, was injured and taken by ambulance to Saint Luke's Hospital in New Bedford by Acushnet Fire paramedics.

The current conditions of the patients are unknown at this time.

The State Police Collision Analysis Reconstruction Section (CARS) was called to the scene to assist with the investigation. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

The vehicles were towed away and Route 240 was reopened around 4:15 p.m.

In addition to the State Police, members of the Fairhaven Fire Department, Mattapoisett Police and Fire Departments and Acushnet Fire Department all responded to the crash.

Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to call Fairhaven Police at (508) 997-7421.

--Fairhaven Police