Tragic accident claims 97-year old twin sisters, according to police chief

Twin sisters Jean Haley (left) and Martha Williams (right) seen in undated photos providence by the Haley family. (Photo: Haley Family via AP).

BARRINGTON, R.I. (WPRI) – The family of 97-year-old twin sisters who died this weekend in freezing temperatures is thanking people who have extended condolences to them.

In a statement released Monday, the family said the pair “was an inspiration who had a great passion for life.”

As police continue to investigate the weekend deaths of twin sisters in town, the police chief said it does not appear foul play was involved in the case.

Police said a neighbor found Martha Williams and Jean Haley, both 97, dead at Haley’s Opechee Drive home Saturday morning.

Police Chief John LaCross told Eyewitness News Williams was face down in the driveway and Haley was face down in the garage.

LaCross said it appears that Williams may have fallen and then as Haley went to call for help, she fell as well.

“Both pocket books were there. Keys were there. Wallets were there. The house was not ransacked. It was in perfect working order,” LaCross said. “It looks like a very tragic event where maybe one woman had fallen in the driveway and then the sister, Jean, maybe went to give her assistances and maybe get in the house and try to call 911 – that’s what we’re assuming at this point – and then she falls.”

While autopsy results are still pending, LaCross said freezing temperatures Friday night into Saturday morning also played a role in the tragedy. He said the women were outside for 12 hours before the neighbor found them.

The home of Jean Haley sits along the Providence River waterfront Monday, March 6, 2017, in Barrington, R.I. Jean and her twin 97-year-old sister Martha Williams froze to death Saturday after they fell outside the home and were stranded there during one of the coldest nights of the winter. A neighbor found the twin sisters the next morning. (AP Photo/Jennifer McDermott)