Disclaimer - By publishing this information on this Web site, the Boston, Massachusetts law firm of Altman & Altman LLP is not claiming to represent any clients or cases mentioned here. The content provided is designed to inform readers and is not intended as legal advice.
November 19, 2014

NHTSA Wants a Nationwide Recall of Autos With Takata Driver’s Side Frontal Airbags

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it wants a nationwide recall of vehicles outfitted with certain side frontal side air bags manufactured by Takata. The move comes after the regulator decided that the manufacturer is not acting swiftly enough to expand the recall of defective air bags that may rupture when deployed.

Already there have been five deaths, four in the U.S., linked to the faulty auto safety device, which may shoot out shrapnel when rupturing. Today, two U.S. Senators said there might even be a sixth death linked to the deadly air bags. All of the air bag deaths occurred in Honda vehicles.

A national recall would broaden what has to date been regional action involving 4.1 million vehicles in states that are humid and hot, which is where the safety devices are more likely to fail. Automakers involved in that initiative included Mazda, Honda, Ford, BMW, and Chrysler. NHTSA said that unless Takata and the car manufacturers swiftly agree to the wider recall, it will use its authority to make sure that such an initiative happens.

The regulator also wants Takata and the ten automakers that use its air bag inflators—Toyota, BMW, Subaru, Chrysler, Nissan, Ford, Mitsubishi, General Motors, Mazda, and Honda—to provide a detailed report and generate all documents about the testing of the Takata inflators that are behind the existing recall.

According to The New York Times, a low cost air bag propellant made with an ammonium nitrate formula that Takata has been using for inflating its airbags is under scrutiny as a possible cause of the air bag safety issues. The formula is very sensitive to moisture and changes in temperature. It has been known to eventually erode, which is when it can violently combust.

Executives from Takata, Chrysler Group, Honda Motor Co., NHTSA’s deputy chief, and a victim of a 2013 air bag deployment incident are expected to testify in front of a Senate panel tomorrow about the air bag controversy.

Air bags are supposed to protect passengers, not inflict serious injury or death. But when an air bag does not deploy, deploys when it isn’t supposed to, inflates too quickly, or ruptures while inflating, the outcome can be deadly.

Air bags defects and malfunctions can lead to cuts, lacerations, concussions, facial bruises, head injuries, severe injuries, concussions, fractures, and death. They can even lead to traffic collisions that could otherwise have been avoided.

In Massachusetts, our Boston car accident law firm represents clients who were injured or who lost a loved one in traffic crashes involving a defective safety device or another auto defect. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP to speak with an auto products liability lawyer today.

You may have reason for pursuing a claim against an automaker, an air bag manufacturer, the auto dealer, or other negligent parties.

USDOT Calls for National Recall of Defective Takata Driver Side Air Bags, NHTSA, November 18, 2014

Takata’s Switch to Cheaper Airbag Propellant Is at Center of Crisis, The New York Times, Nov 19 2014


More Blog Posts:
Stryker Settles Hip Implant Lawsuits for $1.43 Billion, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, November 7, 2014

GM Crisis: Victim Compensation Numbers Expected To Rise, Boston Injury Lawyers Blog, November 17, 2014

Slip and Fall Accidents Can Cause Injuries on the Job, Lead to Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Claims, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, November 18, 2014

October 28, 2014

Man Injured When Cement Beam Falls off Truck

The driver of an SUV was taken to the hospital last week after several cement beams fell off of a tractor-trailer truck and onto his car.

Vidon George, the driver of that SUV, said he was approximately 30 feet away from the truck when he noticed the restraint harnesses giving way. The beams landed on the hood of George’s Honda Pilot, crushing its front end.

"I just tried to brake and I could see this is going to come and hit my car for sure and bam, in a few seconds everything was done," George, 40, said in a statement to WCVB. "It happened so fast. My hands were on the steering wheel and the airbag exploded or deployed. My body aches because of that huge impact," he said.

George, a married father of three was en route to work. He was luckily able to open the car door and walk away not seriously injured, however he is being treated for bruises. Investigators are currently looking into how the accident happened.

Continue reading "Man Injured When Cement Beam Falls off Truck" »

October 3, 2014

Brookline Police Gauge Interest in New Bicycle Law

Bicycle safety continues to draw the attention of city officials as the number of cyclists grows across the city. With increasing attention to the environmental and health advantages of opting for bicycles instead of motor vehicles and public transportation, and the advent of bike share programs like Hubway, the volume of bicyclists has increased dramatically. With this movement towards cycling, bicycle laws may need to be reconsidered to ensure that cycling remains an attractive option for Bostonians, while ensuring the safety of cyclists, pedestrians, and motor vehicle drivers.

Boston.com reported that on September 17th, the Brookline Police Department solicited comments via Twitter regarding the adoption of a new bicycle law commonly known as the Idaho Stop. The law would allow cyclists to treat red lights as stop signs, and treat stop signs as yield signs, thereby letting cyclists move more quickly and have more freedom on roadways. In Idaho, bicycle injuries declined by 14.5% in the year following the implementation of the law.

Existing bike laws in Brookline follow a “same roads, same rules” approach, which requires cyclists to adhere to the same road rules as drivers of motor vehicles. Steve Sidman, Executive Director of the Boston Cyclists Union criticized this approach, noting that the rules applicable to motor vehicles cannot logically be applied wholesale to bicycles. Stidman also recommended the construction of a separate bicycle path on Commonwealth Avenue to reduce bicycle accidents.

Brookline Police Lieutenant Philip Harrington noted that there are no definite plans to adopt the new rule and the department is merely opening the topic for discussion at this point.

Continue reading "Brookline Police Gauge Interest in New Bicycle Law" »

September 30, 2014

Walmart Responds to Tracy Morgan’s Lawsuit: "Morgan Should Have Worn a Seatbelt"

Retail supergiant Walmart has finally responded to a lawsuit filed by actor and comedian Tracy Morgan over a deadly car crash that left Morgan in critical condition. Its response: Morgan should have worn a seatbelt.

According to CNN and court documents, Walmart filed a 28-page response to a complaint by lawyers representing Morgan and three others who were injured in the accident, which occurred when Walmart semi-truck driver Kevin Roper collided with the rear end of the Mercedes Sprinter van in which Morgan was riding. Photos released of the incident show the Mercedes was hit with enough force for it to land on its roof and cause a chain reaction crash with four other vehicles. Roper pleaded not guilty in June to criminal charges that included vehicular homicide and assault by auto.

Morgan’s lawsuit claims that Walmart was careless and negligent in the operation of the vehicle that caused the accident, and that it should have known that Roper was not fit to be driving and that it violated Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations enacted to combat the dangers of driver fatigue. Already, it was discerned by officials that Roper was potentially drowsy while he was driving (Roper had been awake for 24 hours prior), and it was speculated that his fatigue was ultimately what caused the tragic accident. Roper has denied that fatigue played a role in the crash.

Continue reading "Walmart Responds to Tracy Morgan’s Lawsuit: "Morgan Should Have Worn a Seatbelt"" »

July 30, 2014

Low-Speed Collision ends in $3.1 Million Awarded by Jury

According to the entertainment industry, car accidents are always exceedingly dramatic. They seem to only occur at a high rate of speed, culminating in a chaotic spectacle impressing viewers munching on popcorn in their seats. The problem is that entertainment industry is meant to be taken as just that—entertainment. Car accidents do not always end in movie-worthy fashion, but that does not mean serious injuries are not possible from smaller car accidents or those where the physical property damage is not immediately evident.

What happens if I am injured in a slow speed accident?
Am I still entitled to compensation for my injuries?

The aftermath of a car accident can be an incredibly confusing experience for victims recovering from injuries sustained in the crash. Lack of property damage on the vehicles involved can make the process seem even more frustrating. Victims of slow-speed motor vehicle accidents are urged to contact a Massachusetts Personal Injury Attorney as soon as possible to explore all legal options available to them.

Continue reading "Low-Speed Collision ends in $3.1 Million Awarded by Jury" »

July 16, 2014

I’ve Just Been in Uber Accident, What do I do?

You’re late for work on a rainy morning, you miss the bus. Thankfully, you called an Uber and your ride will be at your door within minutes. Problem solved. But what happens if the Ubercar in which you are travelling gets in to an accident? What should you do?

Don’t panic, we’re here to help.

Uber defines itself as “everyone’s private driver.” A ride-sharing program launched in 2009, the company aims to connect those in need of a ride with their drivers through an iPhone or Android app. Passengers have their credit card information saved in the app, which is also connected to their Facebook accounts, allowing a picture to display for drivers to identify the rider. The amazingly simple operation allows a rider to open the app, and using the GPS capabilities on the phone, request a ride from the drivers close by. Within minutes, the map shows the driver’s arrival, along with their name, picture, license plate number, and the make and model of their car. Upon reaching the desired destination, the driver ends the ride and the card on file is automatically charged.

Uber eliminates the need to call a taxi dispatcher or hail one on the street. Bostonians know how difficult and frustrating it is to deal with taxis in the city, and city dwellers are flocking to the ride-sharing start-up in record numbers. Uber offers a few options to riders depending on how cheap or luxurious they want their car to be. Uber Lux is the most expensive option, offering a riders top-of-the-line sedans like Mercedes, BMW, and Audi. Uber Black and Uber SUV are black livery vehicles driven by professional drivers. Customers can request a taxi through the app, which uses the taxi meter plus an additional fee. The cheapest and most popular option is UberX, in which regular drivers in their personal cars can drive customers to their destinations.

Continue reading "I’ve Just Been in Uber Accident, What do I do?" »

April 7, 2014

US DOT Aims New 'Don't Text and Drive' Commercial at Distracted Drivers

It can happen in a split second, with no warning. It can happen to anyone, and it could change your life. The new “Don’t Text and Drive” commercial put out by the United States Department of Transportation aims to shock drivers—especially teenagers—into putting their phones down and paying attention to the road. Distracted driving has become an epidemic in recent years as cell phones, tablets, and other devices have come on the market. Teenagers are especially susceptible to the effects of distracted driving because of their inexperience behind the wheel combined with an almost rabid attachment to their cell phones.

The commercial pinpoints the teenage and young adult audience with the slogan, "U drive. U text. U pay," with the hashtag #justdrive. It features a group of young women traveling in a car on a seemingly normal day. They are seen talking and laughing as the driver becomes distracted by her phone and misses a stop sign. In an instant, they are struck by an oncoming truck in the intersection. The extremely jarring scene unfolds as the car flips over multiple times before coming to rest.

In perhaps the most poignant scene, a police officer stands beside the wreckage and explains, “Nobody likes to be stopped by police, but if I’d seen her texting while driving and given her a ticket, it just might have saved her life.” The shocking images are meant to jolt teens into understanding the reality and consequences of texting while driving at point in their lives when they may feel invincible.

Continue reading "US DOT Aims New 'Don't Text and Drive' Commercial at Distracted Drivers" »

March 31, 2014

State Police Report 19-Car Accident Inside O’Neill Tunnel

Massachusetts State Police confirmed four separate accidents involving a total of 19 cars on I-93 Monday morning. The accidents all took place in the left lane on the northbound side of the highway, right inside the Tip O’Neill tunnel. Traffic became a nightmare as “several miles of backups” were observed even after the crash site was cleared up. According to CBS Boston, the first accident was a chain-reaction involving nine cars. A few minutes later, four motor vehicles were involved in another, separate crash, followed closely by four more cars involved in yet another accident. The chaotic scene was capped off by a minor fender bender involving two vehicles.

State Trooper Todd Nolan said “one person was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with possible injuries.” CBS Boston reports that the injured person was involved in the initial nine-car crash. There were no injuries in the last three accidents. Luckily, at this time it appears there were no life-threatening injuries, but 19 vehicles are now damaged, some perhaps totaled.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known and is under investigation, according to authorities. Boston has been hit hard with heavy rain all weekend, flooding some roadways and forcing the closure of several tunnels and ramps, including the Prudential ramp off the Pike on Sunday. WCVB Meteorologist Danielle Vollmar explained that, "between 2 and 5 inches of rain have fallen in just a few hours.” The rainfall, combined with temperatures hovering slightly above freezing provided treacherous conditions for especially distracted drivers rushing in on their morning commute. Several factors could have led to the string of left-lane accidents in the same spot including speed, an unsafe stretch of road, or weather. State Police also reported several crashes along the Mass. Pike as well as in Palmer, Shrewsbury, and Chicopee due to ice.

Continue reading "State Police Report 19-Car Accident Inside O’Neill Tunnel" »

March 5, 2014

Jury Awards $1M South Hadley, MA Wrongful Death Award to Family of Man Killed in 2011 Drunk Driving Accident

A jury has awarded the family of 22-year-old Joe Kareta over $1 million in their South Hadley wrongful death case. Kareta died in 2011 when he was struck in a Massachusetts pedestrian accident. At the time, he was getting mail from the house of his aunt.

The driver of the vehicle that struck Kareta, Attorney Craig Barton, 46, was reportedly traveling approximately 80 mph in a 30 mph area. His vehicle hit Kareta hard enough that he was yanked from his sneakers as his body flew over 100 feet, striking numerous mailboxes, striking another vehicle, and a traffic sign.

Barton has already pleaded guilty to criminal motor vehicle homicide while operating under alcohol’s influence, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and another offense of operating under the influence in Kareta’s Massachusetts drunk driving death. He is serving 5 to 7 years behind bars. He did, however, leave jail so he could represent himself in Hampshire Superior Court during the Kareta family’s civil case.

During his closing statement, Barton admitted to taking Kareta’s life. He said he was “eternally sorrowful” for what he had done.

As our Boston injury law firm has mentioned in previous blog posts, even if there is a criminal case against the person that you believe caused your Massachusetts personal injury accident or a loved one’s wrongful death, you may also be able to pursue a civil case to sue for damages. You should contact a Boston injury lawyer right away to find out whether to proceed with this route.

Boston Car Accident Cases
Car crashes continue to be a leading cause of fatalities in the US. Many of these could have been avoided if only a motorist had been more careful. Drunk driving, drugged driving, distracted driving, careless driving, and reckless driving are all examples of negligent driving. Our Boston car accident lawyers would like to offer you a free case assessment today.

Victim’s sister gives emotional testimony in South Hadley wrongful death case, Gzettenet.com, March 5, 2014

Family Awarded Over $1M in 2011 Death of Son in South Hadley, WGGP, March 5, 2014

Impaired Driving, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


More Blog Posts:

Your Car May Soon Know You’re Drunk: NHTSA Extends Agreement with Auto Companies to Develop a Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, Febuary 25, 2014

Massachusetts Car Crash Involving Mattress Leaves Woman Dead, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, January 31, 2014

Massachusetts Office Accidents Can Cause Serious Boston Work Injuries, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, February 28, 2014

December 19, 2013

Negligent Operation of Vehicle Leads to Car Crash in Cohasset, MA

On Sunday, December 15th, several store employees at Aubuchon Hardware in Cohasset, MA found themselves jumping for safety when a 51 year old woman crashed through the front window of their store. McGurl, the woman operating the vehicle, was using a homemade extender taped to the gas petal of her car which she couldn’t reach due to her height. McGurl said she had been using this homemade device (a block of wood and duct tape), for several months. While attempting to back up, McGurl hit the accelerator by accident and crashed through the front of the store into the checkout counter. There was substantial damage to the property and merchandise. Thankfully, nobody was injured in the accident, but McGurl will be summoned to court to answer to the charge of negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

A charge of negligent operation is applied when the driver endangers any person or the public by operating the car in a reckless or unreasonable way. A person can be charged with negligent operation even if they were not involved in an accident. Even if there is no one else on the road, a driver who operates his vehicle in a way that could potentially cause an accident or endanger anyone can still be found guilty of negligent operation. Unfortunately, it is more likely that a negligent driver will be involved in an accident in Massachusetts and that someone will be injured as a result. Though the most common form of negligent operation is drunk driving, a driver does not need to be intoxicated to drive negligently. Other examples of this type of negligence include speeding, tailgating, driving while exhausted, angry, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and inattention. If you are the victim of an accident caused by a negligent driver, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, and the resulting medical costs.

Continue reading "Negligent Operation of Vehicle Leads to Car Crash in Cohasset, MA" »

December 10, 2013

WHAT SHOULD I DO IN MASSACHUSETTS IF I AM STRUCK BY A CAR WHILE ON MY BICYCLE OR AS A PEDESTRIAN?

Although, being involved in an automobile accident while a bicyclist or a pedestrian has similar legal ramifications as when you are, yourself, in a motor vehicle, there are some important differences.

Obviously, the first thing that you must consider and tend to is your injury. You may want to consider seeking medical treatment that is covered by your private health insurance company, but sometimes your injuries and their immediate care must take precedence over health insurance complexities and monetary issues.

Continue reading "WHAT SHOULD I DO IN MASSACHUSETTS IF I AM STRUCK BY A CAR WHILE ON MY BICYCLE OR AS A PEDESTRIAN?" »

December 6, 2013

Black Ice and Untreated Roads Blamed in 65-Car Pileup in Worcester, MA

Officials in Worcester, MA have cited freezing rain, black ice, and untreated roads as the major causes of the massive pileup on Interstate 290 in Worcester last weekend.

Black ice began to cover the highway around 6:30 a.m. Several drivers lost control of their vehicles while heading down the declining section of I-290 westbound. The first accident was reported on the westbound side of the highway near Exit 14 (Grafton Street).

A chain reaction began as cars piled up in the roadway. Two tractor-trailers slid sideways at the front and rear of the accident scene. Two large commercial trucks were also struck. State police estimated 65 vehicles were involved. According to reports, public safety officials were forced to climb through the mangled mess of cars to respond to people in need. State Police reported that of the 35 to 40 people who were injured, only two had suffered serious injuries. In total, the crash scene was more than 1,500 feet long.

“I am extremely surprised that nobody was killed, especially the vehicles that went under the trailer truck,” State Police Sgt. Stephen C. Marsh said in a statement. “We had to walk over the hoods of cars, under the trailer trucks. The scene was impenetrable.”

Investigators are looking at why the roads were so slippery, and whether the roads had been effectively treated. Initial reports stated that the part of the bridge where the accident occurred typically freezes before the rest of the highway, and that it is conceivable that road crews had not properly sanded and salted the roadway. The case is still under investigation.

Continue reading "Black Ice and Untreated Roads Blamed in 65-Car Pileup in Worcester, MA" »

December 4, 2013

Demolition Derby on Ice

68 vehicles were involved in a massive pile up on Interstate 290 in Worcester Sunday morning, including three tractor-trailers. Although nobody was killed, two people sustained serious injuries, 35 to 40 people had to go to the hospital, and one dog did not survive this nightmare on the road. In addition to these injuries, many of the vehicles involved in this unprecedented crash were totaled. Mass DOT treated this particular stretch of highway an hour prior to the incident, but the severity of the pileup is proof that hazardous road conditions existed. The fact that so many vehicles were involved in this one collision raises the question, who is responsible?

Continue reading "Demolition Derby on Ice" »

December 2, 2013

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving occurs when a driver takes his or her attention away from the task of driving. Although most people are familiar with texting while driving, there are many different forms of distracted driving.

Types of Distractions

Visual- Visual distractions occur when a driver takes his or her eyes away from the roadway.
Manual- Manual distractions occur when drivers take their hands of the wheel.
Cognitive- Cognitive distractions happen when a driver takes his or her mind off of the task of driving.

Some behaviors can fall into more than one of the distraction categories too. Texting can be a visual, cognitive and manual distraction. Eating can be a manual and visual distraction. It’s also important to understand that daydreaming while driving is a cognitive distraction.

Continue reading "The Dangers of Distracted Driving" »

October 24, 2013

Ashland Teen Struck by Car While Walking to School

An Ashland teenager suffered severe injuries after she was struck by a car while walking to school this morning.

The girl, 16, was crossing the street in front of the Ashland Town Hall when she was hit. It was unclear to authorities whether the girl was in the crosswalk at the time of the accident. The teen was rushed to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston via medical rescue helicopter with severe head trauma, and multiple bodily injuries. Authorities are still investigating the cause to this accident, and have not released the identity of the teenager.

1369363617t5gfv.jpgUnfortunately, pedestrian traffic accidents account for more than 13% of all traffic-related fatalities and 3% of all personal injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) a pedestrian is injured every eight minutes and one pedestrian dies every two hours as the result of a traffic accident in the United States. Approximately 20% of all pedestrian car accidents according to the NHTSA, are also hit-and-run accidents. While we do not have much information about this particular incident, what can be assumed is that this young lady was walking during the early morning hours; at a time where there was minimal daylight.

In order to prevent an accident and keep themselves visible to motorists, pedestrians should always:
-Wear bright or reflective clothing and carry a flashlight when walking during the early hours of the morning, at dusk, or at night.
-Walk on sidewalks (whenever possible) and walk against the traffic when there are no sidewalks.
-Cross at designated crosswalks whenever possible.

Continue reading "Ashland Teen Struck by Car While Walking to School" »

October 17, 2013

New Microsoft Cell Phone Software to Minimize Driving Distractions

Microsoft’s newest Windows software update will now have a ‘Driving Mode’ feature that will automatically silence incoming text messages and phone calls while users are driving.

4-25-13%20blog2.jpgWhat’s appealing about this new software is that it is automatically activated when a phone is linked wirelessly with a car’s Bluetooth device. The application can also be configured by the user to automatically send out a reply text message that says “I’m driving.” Though the feature will minimize the amount of distractions by blocking calls and texts, it will not be able to block outgoing calls or text messages.

Still, Microsoft hopes that the new feature will encourage safer practice on the roadways and hopefully prevent cellphone-related accidents from occurring. The update, which is the third update to the Windows 8 software is accessible to all Microsoft devices and will be available within the next coming weeks.

While this new software is a proactive approach to preventing distracted driving incidents, what drivers must understand is that they are the only ones who can prevent an accident. More and more, people are using their smart phones while driving; to access the Internet, to send an e-mail, to check Facebook or Instagram. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has established a zero tolerance policy when it comes to texting and driving and does not permit the use of a smart phone for any purpose except for making a phone call. While individuals over 18 are allowed to talk on a cell phone while driving, all drivers, no matter what type of license they carry are banned from text messaging while operating a motor vehicle.

Distracted driving accidents account for nearly 20% of all motor vehicle collisions in the United States. In 2011, 3,330 people were killed and 387,000 were injured in as the result of distracted driving. A person who is texting or using a smart phone while driving is 23 times more likely to get into an accident than someone who is not distracted. 5 seconds is the average time a person’s eyes are taken off the road while texting, according to the United States Ad Council, and at 55mph, that’s the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field blindfolded!

Continue reading "New Microsoft Cell Phone Software to Minimize Driving Distractions" »

October 9, 2013

No Charges Against Truck Driver Involved in May Bike Accident

Prosecutors will not be pressing charges against the Amherst truck driver who struck and killed a bicyclist last May.

Livingston Pangburn, a Hampshire College student, was fatally injured when he collided with an Amherst College box truck. According to the Northwestern district attorney’s office, Pangburn was traveling in heavy traffic along College Street, and did not stop with the traffic to allow the westbound truck to make a left turn onto the college’s campus.

fast-379343-m.jpgPolice reports stated that the driver of the truck did not see the cyclist in time to stop, and Pangburn was not able to maneuver around the truck in time to avoid the crash. Prosecutors do not believe that any impairment, cell phone use, or mechanical defects with the vehicle played a role in the accident.

While this is undoubtedly a tragic story, it also puts into perspective the dangers cyclists face when riding their bikes. Because bicyclists are extremely vulnerable compared to passengers to a motor vehicles due to their lack of physical barriers to protect themselves, it is crucial for them to do their part to prevent a serious accident from occurring.

5 Tips to Stay Safe on Your Bike

1. Always, always, always wear a helmet. While it seems to be a phrase engrained in everyone’s head, so many individuals do not understand how important helmets are in preventing serious head injuries. Some people dismiss the idea of wearing a helmet because of atheistic reasons, or because they feel their short commute doesn’t warrant wearing one. But wearing a helmet could make all the difference, and could even save a life.

2. Travel with the traffic, not against it. Always ride on the right side of the road, and go with the flow of traffic. Remember that bicycles are considered vehicles too, and cyclists are responsible for adhering to the same rules of the road as drivers. If you come to a stop sign or red light, you are legally bound to stop. In addition, you are responsible for yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks, just as motorists are.

Continue reading "No Charges Against Truck Driver Involved in May Bike Accident" »

October 2, 2013

4 Things You Should Know If You Are Involved In a Massachusetts Auto Accident

Auto accidents occur every day in Massachusetts. While some auto accidents are minor fender benders that result in only minor property damage, many motor vehicle crashes are major accidents that may result in serious injury. If you have found yourself the victim or at fault-party of a motor vehicle accident, here are four things you should know:

1.) You may collect lost wages if you miss time at work due to a car accident injury.file000739321417.jpg
In the event you are involved in an accident and the injuries you sustained prevent you from working, you may be entitled to reimbursement of 75% of your lost wages. These wages may be payable under the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) portion of your motor vehicle insurance. You have $8,000 of coverage under this policy, and this money may be applied to medical bills and/or lost wages.

2.) Most accident-related medical expenses are covered, even if you don’t have health insurance.
Under M.G.L. c. 90 § 34, “The PIP Statute,” your motor vehicle insurance carrier will pay the first $2,000 of your medical bills in nearly all circumstances, including if you were found at-fault for the accident. The remainder of your medical expenses will be covered under your health insurance policy. If you do not have health insurance, your motor vehicle insurer will pay for those bills, but only up to $8,000. In certain cases, people will have Medical Payment coverage as part of their motor vehicle insurance policy, and that coverage will go towards payment of additional medical bills one the primary coverage has been exhausted.

3.) If you were hit by a car with no insurance coverage you can still make a bodily injury claim.
We find this happens more often than you would think; people forget to renew their insurance coverage, send a payment in late, or accidentally have their coverage lapse. When this happens, they are driving an uninsured motor vehicle. If you happen to be the victim of being struck by an uninsured vehicle your own insurance policy will most likely provide you not only medical coverage benefits, but bodily injury benefits as well.
It is always a good idea to consult with your agent to ensure that all your policies are active and in place.

4.) Even if you are initially found at fault for the accident, you can challenge the liability decision.
Often times, insurance companies jump to conclusions when determining liability. We have helped numerous clients challenge the decisions made by insurance companies and we have a proven track record of successfully overturning their initial decision. We do this through witness statement, hiring investigators, and other various means to help prove our case.

Continue reading "4 Things You Should Know If You Are Involved In a Massachusetts Auto Accident" »

September 30, 2013

N.H. Lawmakers Seek Changes to Traffic Laws after Fatal Accident

Lawmakers in New Hampshire are considering changes to traffic laws after an unlicensed driver killed two cyclists just hours after she had been pulled over for speeding.

Darriean Hess, 19, was charged with two counts of negligent homicide after she plowed into a group of cyclists, fatally injuring two Massachusetts women, and seriously injuring two others. The cyclists were taking part in an annual charity ride along the New England coastline.

criminal-defense.jpgAccording to police reports, Hess had been stopped on the same road eight hours prior to the fatal accident and had been ticketed for speeding and driving without a license. The officer who had previously pulled Hess over had required her to wait for a licensed driver to pick up her and the vehicle she was driving. Hess is being held on $50,000 bail.

Under the current New Hampshire law, a driver may be charged with a misdemeanor only if he or she has already been cited for operating a vehicle without a license. Representative Renny Cushing, D-Hampton, has filed a bill that would make any violation committed by an unlicensed driver an automatic misdemeanor. If the new bill passed, police would have the option of arresting the driver or issuing a summons. The bill was submitted to New Hampshire police for their recommendations, but no other information on its progress is available.

According to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 90, Section 23, a person who is found driving while revoked, suspended, or otherwise unlicensed, may be subject to a fine from $500 to $1,000, and imprisoned for not more than 10 days, for the first offense. Subsequent offenses may result in 60 days to one year imprisonment as well as possible extension of suspension of license for an additional 60 days to one year.

While bike riding is a popular mode of transportation, especially in urban areas of Massachusetts, is can be extremely dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 700 people are killed in bicycle accidents and another 500,000 people are treated annually for bicycle-related injuries. While wearing a helmet can prevent some injuries to the brain, bicyclists are still extremely vulnerable and susceptible to suffering other types of serious injuries, such as neck and spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and even death.

Continue reading "N.H. Lawmakers Seek Changes to Traffic Laws after Fatal Accident" »

September 26, 2013

Truck Involved in I-93 Crash Violated Numerous Safety Codes, State Police Inspection Shows

An inspection report by the Maine State Police found that the truck and trailer that caused a fatal accident on Interstate 93 last week had violated safety codes and should have been taken out of service.

Part of the wheel assembly detached from a trailer hauling a modular home traveling southbound in Hooksett, New Hampshire on September 18. According to police, a wheel flew off the trailer, struck a northbound police cruiser, and bounced back into the southbound lane, subsequently striking another car, and killing the driver. The trailer, which belongs to Crawford Homes, Inc. which manufactures modular homes, violated numerous safety protocols.

In the report, State Police found that the trailer’s brakes were “inadequate” for safe stopping, as they were contaminated with grease and oil. In addition, the brake hose on one of the truck’s axels had deteriorated and was scraping against another piece of the truck. State Police reports also showed an issue with the service brake, in that when applied, there was significant air loss from the canister. Finally, the trailer’s remaining wheels had improper emergency braking. Safety records from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicate that prior to this incident neither the company’s trucks nor drivers had been involved in an accident in two years.

file000474832304.jpgTrucking companies have a lot at stake, as injuries from these types of accidents often tend to be serious or fatal, as, unfortunately was illustrated in the accident last week. Subsequent to any accident, trucking companies may hire a team of investigators in order to mitigate the liability as well as the legal costs associated with the accident. After an accident occurs, it is imperative for the victim and the victim’s family to seek legal counsel with an experienced attorney. Some of the major causes of these types of accidents include driver fatigue, equipment failure, negligent maintenance, overload or improper loading of truck, driver inattention, non-compliance with federal regulations, and speeding. While it is still under investigation, negligent maintenance and equipment failure seem to be the two most prominent factors in what caused last week’s fatal accident.

Continue reading "Truck Involved in I-93 Crash Violated Numerous Safety Codes, State Police Inspection Shows" »

September 17, 2013

Waltham Boy Airlifted After Being Hit by Truck

A 12-year-old Waltham boy was seriously injured after he was struck by a dump truck while riding his bike this morning.

According to police reports, the young man was hit near Pine Street in Waltham by a 22-year-driver of a dump truck. The boy was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, and was conscious when rescue officials arrived at the scene. He was flown by helicopter to Children’s Hospital in Boston to be treated for severe head and elbow lacerations.

With school back in session, it is important for drivers to be aware of the extra foot and bicycle traffic on the roads during the morning commute. This instance is an unfortunate example of how inattention can lead to a serious accident, injury, and sometimes death.

1059798_cyclist.jpgPedestrians and bicyclists are extremely vulnerable compared to passengers to a motor vehicle because they do not have any physical barriers to protect themselves if they are hit by a car, truck, or any other vehicle or object on the road. Boston and the surrounding Massachusetts communities, like Waltham, are filled with activity and traffic that pose serious threats to pedestrians’ and bicyclists’ safety. Broken bones, serious cuts and lacerations, bruises, skin burns, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and even death are common injuries of pedestrian and bicycle accidents.

Both pedestrians and bicyclists can do their part to increase their own safety by:
Always wearing a helmet while riding a bike. Helmets are the most practical way to prevent a serious head or brain injury in the event of an accident.
• Wearing bright or reflective clothing, carrying a flashlight or wearing a flashing headlamp when walking or riding at dusk and at night. Wearing dark clothing makes it harder for drivers to see, but wearing reflective clothing will ensure that you will be better seen by vehicle operators.
• Walk on sidewalks whenever possible or walk against traffic when there are no sidewalks.
• Ride in designated bike lanes, use proper hand-gestures to signal turns, and follow the rules of the road. Remember that bicyclists must follow the same rules as cars.
• Cross at designated crosswalks and avoid jaywalking whenever possible.

Continue reading "Waltham Boy Airlifted After Being Hit by Truck" »

September 3, 2013

New Rule Seeks to Hold Those Who Text Drivers Responsible for Crashes

It’s a statement that’s engrained in every driver’s head: “Don’t text and drive.” While Massachusetts and nearly every state across the nation have imposed laws against texting or using a cell phone while driving, one New Jersey state appeals court, has developed a new addendum for people who text drivers. Under this addendum, people who knowingly text a person who is driving, may be held liable if the driver causes an accident.

file000739321417.jpgThe idea may seem farfetched to some, but in fact, a couple from New Jersey used the notion as grounds for a lawsuit they filed against two teenagers. In 2009, the couple Mr. and Mrs. Kubert, were struck head-on while riding a motorcycle by then-18-year-old Kyle Best. Best was behind the wheel of his pickup truck while travelling down a rural highway road, when his friend Shannon Colonna, sent him a text message. Upon opening the message, Best’s truck crossed the center line and hit the Kuberts causing, in what court documents described as, a gruesome accident.

Both the Kuberts lost their legs in the accident. According to police and court documents, immediately following the incident, Best called 911, hung up, and then continued to receive at least two more messages from Colonna.

The Kuberts sued Best, but they also included Colonna in the lawsuit. To the Kuberts, had it not been for Shannon Colonna’s texts, Kyle Best would not have been distracted. They concluded that she was also responsible for their pain and loss. Though the Kubert’s initially lost against Colonna, they appealed the court’s decision. Their attorney, Stephen Weinstein argued that Colonna was “electronically in the car with the driver” and could essentially be treated like someone sitting next to Best, willfully distracting him. Despite the argument’s being unlikely to work, three New Jersey judges agreed with it – in theory.

Continue reading "New Rule Seeks to Hold Those Who Text Drivers Responsible for Crashes" »

August 5, 2013

Provincetown Woman Arrested and Charged with OUI after Head-on Collision on Sagamore Bridge

A Cape Cod woman is facing a slew of charges, including operating under the influence, after causing a car accident on the Sagamore Bridge in Bourne last night.

file0001449879863.jpgDorothy Hitchcock, 25, of Provincetown, MA was driving her GMC SUV when she veered into oncoming traffic while traveling eastbound on Route 6, Sunday evening. Hitchcock’s vehicle collided head-on with a Buick SUV carrying three passengers, who were later taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.

Hitchcock was also brought to a nearby hospital where she was treated for non-life threatening injuries. She is charged with operating under the influence of liquor and drugs, drug possession, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, a marked lanes violation, and a seatbelt violation. Unfortunately, this marks the second serious crash on the Sagamore Bridge within a month. Over the Fourth of July, there was a deadly hit-and-run-crash that claimed the life of an Israeli man, and injured four other victims.
While some car accidents are minor fender benders, many car accidents, as illustrated in this instance, are serious and often result in severe injuries and even death. At the law offices of Altman & Altman, LLP we understand that being a victim of any type of accident is stressful and there are many concerns both victims and family members have after an accident, such as:

• Who is responsible for paying my medical bills after I am injured?
• How do I collect my lost wages?
• When will my car get fixed?
• How much is my case worth?
• What do I do if the insurance company is saying it was my fault?
• What should I do if the insurance company for the other car wants to take my statement?
• What do I do if I cannot get the police report?
• Am I able to file a claim if the other car left the scene after the accident?

Although Massachusetts is a no-fault state and motorists, with the exception of motorcyclists, are covered by their own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, your medical costs may far exceed your PIP’s policy limit as well as the limits of your own medical insurance coverage. PIP also will not cover any lost wages.

Continue reading "Provincetown Woman Arrested and Charged with OUI after Head-on Collision on Sagamore Bridge" »

July 22, 2013

Woman Seriously Injured after Marion, MA Hit-and-Run Accident

A woman was seriously injured during a hit-and-run accident in Marion yesterday afternoon.

Marion police officers responded to a call of a pedestrian who was struck on County Road just after 4 p.m. on Sunday. The woman, aged 40, sustained severe injuries and one of her dogs was killed during the accident. She was taken to Tobey Hospital in Wareham, and then transported by helicopter to Rhode Island Hospital.

Police were able to track down the driver, David R. Pajunen, 22 of Wareham late last night. Pajunen was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident, causing injury, and a marked lanes violation.

file0001163121718.jpgPedestrian accidents account for more than 13% of all traffic fatalities and they make up 3% of all persons injured in motor vehicle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) a pedestrian is injured every eight minutes and one pedestrian dies every two hours as the result of a traffic accident in the United States. Nearly 20% of all pedestrian car accidents according to the NHTSA, are also hit-and-run accidents.

Pedestrians can take the following actions to help keep themselves safe:

o Wear bright or reflective clothing and carry a flashlight when walking at dusk and at night.
o Walk on sidewalks whenever possible and walk against the traffic when there are no sidewalks.
o Cross at designated crosswalks whenever possible.

Drivers can do their part to prevent pedestrian accidents by:

o Yielding to the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing streets in marked or unmarked crosswalks.
o Yielding to pedestrians while turning at intersections or onto another street.
o Being vigilant and aware of pedestrians walking at night, when it is dark out.

Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable, as compared to passengers in vehicles, because they have no physical barriers to protect themselves when they are hit by a car, truck, or any other vehicle or object on the road. Boston and the surrounding Massachusetts communities are filled with activity and traffic that pose serious threats to pedestrians’ safety. Broken bones, severe cuts and bruises, skin burns, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and even death are common injuries of pedestrian accidents.

When a pedestrian is injured during a motor vehicle accident, there are a number of legal repercussions that can complicate a person’s recovery. Victims may wonder who is responsible for paying medical bills, lost wages, and what to do if the accident was a hit-and-run. All of these concerns can be handled by the help of an experienced Boston Pedestrian Accident Attorney, at the law offices of Altman & Altman. Our seasoned attorneys have nearly 50 years of experience handling pedestrian accidents and we have all of the necessary resources to achieve the highest possible settlements for clients. If you or someone you love was the victim of a pedestrian accident, call the offices of Altman & Altman to schedule a free initial consultation. Our lawyers are always available to answer any and all of your questions.

Original Article from WCVB.com

July 10, 2013

Two Plymouth Teens Injured in Texting and Driving Crash

Police in Plymouth have cited texting while driving as the cause of a crash that left two teens injured early Tuesday morning.

677683_ambulance__ecnalubma.jpgA 19-year-old Manomet woman and her 18-year-old brother were struck head on by another vehicle while they were traveling on State Road shortly after 1 a.m. on Tuesday. The other driver, identified as a 19-year old man from Plymouth, strayed into the other lane and caused the crash near Melix Avenue. Police said that the 19-year-old male had been texting before the accident, and he was cited on charges of driving to endanger, committing a marked-lane violation, and texting while driving.

The brother and sister were taken to South Shore Hospital in Weymouth with serious, but non-life threatening injuries. The male driver was not injured in the accident.

Texting and driving has become a serious epidemic in the United States, not just with teenage drivers but with seasoned drivers as well. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, about 20% of all car accidents are caused by distracted driving. In 2011 alone, 3,331 people were killed and 387,000 were injured as the result of distracted driving.

Massachusetts has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to texting and driving. Though individuals over 18 are allowed to talk on a cell phone while driving, all drivers, no matter what age or what type of license they carry, are banned from text messaging while operating a motor vehicle.

Drivers speaking on a cell phone are 4 times more likely to cause an accident. A person who is texting while driving is 23 times more likely to get into an accident than someone who is not distracted. According to the Ad Council, 5 seconds is the average time a person’s eyes are taken off the road while texting. At 55mph, that’s the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field while blindfolded.

Texting is not the only type of distraction drivers can engage in while driving. Rather there are three types of distractions:

• Visual: taking eyes off of the road
• Manual: taking hands off of the wheel
• Cognitive: taking mind off of driving

Some common examples of distracted driving include:

• Cellphone or smartphone use
• Eating or drinking
• Talking to passengers
• Daydreaming
• Grooming
• Reading, including maps
• Using a navigation system
• Watching a video
• Adjusting the radio

Continue reading "Two Plymouth Teens Injured in Texting and Driving Crash" »

July 2, 2013

Worcester Police Investigate the City’s Third Pedestrian Fatality

Worcester police are investigating a fatal pedestrian accident that left a 67-year old man dead last Friday night.

The victim’s neighbor, Christopher Maider, found the man lying face down in the road around 9:30 p.m. Friday. Police said the victim was crossing the road when he was struck by a 63-year-old female driver. He did not cross at a crosswalk, however. The female driver did stop, and no charges have been filed since the incident.

According to Maider, the street where the incident took place is especially busy, and he said he doesn’t feel safe walking down that street.

“If I went to this crosswalk and stood there, nobody would stop, which is the motor vehicle law. You see somebody in the crosswalk, you are required to stop; that's the law. That'll never happen here,” Maider said.

1369363617t5gfv.jpgSadly, this incident marks the third pedestrian fatality in the city of Worcester, alone, and it serves as a grave reminder to both pedestrians and drivers to be vigilant and safe on the roadways.

Pedestrian accidents account for more than 13% of all traffic fatalities. Pedestrians also make up 3% of all persons injured in motor vehicle accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that a pedestrian is injured every eight minutes and one pedestrian dies every two hours as the result of a traffic accident in the United States.

Continue reading "Worcester Police Investigate the City’s Third Pedestrian Fatality" »

June 17, 2013

Study Finds Voice-to-Text is Just as Distracting as Manual Texting

If you are under the assumption that hands-free texting is safer than manual texting, think again. A recent study published by AAA found that using voice-to-text devices are extremely dangerous and mentally distracting despite the fact that they are hands free.

The study comes in wake of a new projected five-fold increase of vehicles with elaborate infotainment systems, by 2018. With more and more cars with “smart” technology joining the road today, AAA is requesting its research be taken into consideration by car and tech manufacturers.
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“It’s time to consider limiting new and potentially dangerous mental distractions built into cars, particularly with the common misperception that hands-free means risk-free,” Lloyd P. Albert, AAA Southern New England Senior Vice President of Public and Government Affairs said.

AAA’s study, which was conducted at the University of Utah, found that as these mental distractions increase:

• Reaction time slows
• Brain function is compromised
• Drivers scan the road less and miss visual cues, which may result in drivers missing objects in front of them such as pedestrians, or running stop signs and traffic signals.

Dr. David Strayer, a cognitive distraction expert at the University of Utah, and his research team, measured brainwaves and eye movements of drivers to evaluate the effects of multitasking and using devices while driving on mental workloads. The team conducted a series of tests and used cameras inside an instrumented car to track drivers’ eye movements, detection-response-task (DRT) devices to record driver responses, as well as a special electroencephalographic (EEG)-configured skull cap to measure brain activity so that researchers could determine drivers’ mental workloads.

Subjects performed a series of tasks while driving including, listening to the radio, talking on the cell phone (both handheld and hands-free) and listening and responding to in-vehicle, voice-activated email features, and researchers rated these tasks on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the highest level of distraction). Researchers concluded that listening to the radio ranked as a category “1” level distraction or minimal risk. Talking on a cell-phone or passenger in a car ranked in category “2” and posed moderate risks.

Continue reading "Study Finds Voice-to-Text is Just as Distracting as Manual Texting " »

June 12, 2013

Seatbelts Could Have Saved 3 BU Students in New Zealand Car Accident, Officials Say

The three Boston University students killed last May when their minivan flipped on a rural New Zealand road, could have survived had they been wearing seatbelts, officials said.

Rotorua, New Zealand Constable Tina Mitchell-Ellis, said that the three students who died, and a fourth who suffered severe brain trauma, were not wearing seatbelts and were thrown from the van. The four other passengers in the van who were wearing seatbelts survived and sustained only minor injuries.

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The students had all been a part of a study-abroad program in New Zealand and were driving in a rural part New Zealand to begin a scenic hike. According to reports, the driver of the van, Stephen Houseman, became distracted while driving and drove onto the side of the road before over-correcting and flipping the van four times.

Neither drugs nor alcohol were involved in the accident, and police did not suspect Houseman was speeding before the accident. Officials believe that inexperience with driving a van and being unfamiliar with the roads contributed to the accident. Houseman pled guilty to careless driving and had his license suspended for six months.

This tragic accident involving Massachusetts college students is a stark reminder of the dangers of operating a motor vehicle or being a passenger in a motor vehicle, and not wearing a seatbelt. According to both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Safety Council, seatbelts are the most effective safety device for preventing serious injury or death in the event of a car accident. In fact, wearing a safety belt can reduce the risk of serious injury during an accident by more than 50%.

In a study done by the NHTSA, 42% of motor vehicle passengers who were killed in accidents were not wearing a seatbelt. Under Massachusetts law, seatbelt violations fall under secondary enforcement laws; meaning that a driver can be ticketed by an officer for not wearing a seatbelt only if he or she has committed another traffic violation. The seatbelt usage rate in Massachusetts is estimated to be around 74%, which is lower than the National average (88%). However, the NHTSA estimates that over 1,600 lives could be saved and 22,000 injuries prevented each year if seatbelt usage was at 90% in every state.

Continue reading "Seatbelts Could Have Saved 3 BU Students in New Zealand Car Accident, Officials Say" »

May 28, 2013

Police Investigate Memorial Day Motorcycle Accident in Holliston, MA

A motorcyclist was flown to Brigham and Women’s Hospital yesterday after being critically injured in a crash in Holliston, Massachusetts.

The male motorcyclist was the only person involved in the single-vehicle accident which occurred on Brook Street around 2:30 p.m. Monday. Police are still investigating the cause of the crash.1301095_motorcycle_stunter_tyre_burnout_.jpg

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated approximately 81,000 people were injured and 4,612 were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2011 in the United States; a 2% increase from the number in 2010 and a 41% increase from 2002. Motorcycle accidents accounted for 14% of the total number of motor-vehicle crashes in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that per every vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are 30 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in an accident, and 5 times more likely to be injured during an accident.

The NHTSA stated that 49% of fatal motorcycle crashes involved collisions with other motor vehicles; 75% occurred with the motor vehicle in front of the motorcycle. Fatal motorcycle accidents were most likely to occur with fixed objects, rather than collisions with other motor vehicles.

Speeding, rider inexperience, and alcohol use are the three main factors that contribute to the high risk of accident on a motorcycle. According to the NHTSA, 35% of all motorcyclists involved in accidents in 2011 had been speeding before the crash. Inexperienced and un-licensed individuals made up 14% of those injured or killed in motorcycle accidents, and individuals who had had their licensed suspended previously were 1.4 times more likely to get into an accident compared to those with a passenger vehicle license revocation. Alcohol use is also a risk factor for fatal motor cycle accidents. The NHTSA estimated that about 29% of all motorcyclists were impaired by alcohol at the time of an accident. Riders aged 40-44 made up 38% of that group, respectively, followed by individuals ages 45-49 and 35-39 at 37%.

Continue reading "Police Investigate Memorial Day Motorcycle Accident in Holliston, MA " »

April 25, 2013

Fatigued Driving in Massachusetts: As Dangerous as Driving Drunk

Fatigued driving is probably familiar to every driver, especially early morning commuters and those driving late at night. While some may think that getting behind the wheel fatigued can be harmless, it is actually quite dangerous. In fact some studies suggest that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving.
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Causes of Drowsiness

There are many risk factors associated with drowsiness, such as chronic sleepiness caused by frequent lack of sleep, acute sleep loss, and work shifts. A variety of circumstances can account for acute sleep loss like taking care of children, vacations, short-term work demands, and social events. Irregular work schedules, late night or overtime shifts may throw off a person’s internal clock and lead to increased sleepiness. The amount of time a person spends behind the wheel can also contribute to their level of fatigued. Tractor trailer drivers, for example, often experience fatigue because of the many hours they spend on the road.

Lack of sleep is not the only reason for drowsiness. Potent medications like sedatives, antidepressants or antihistamines used to treat allergies and colds, and even alcohol consumption can influence levels of tiredness.

The Dangers and Warning Signs of Drowsy Driving

Boston is surrounded by major highways and interstates like the Mass Pike, Routes 128, 495, 93 and 95. It is important to be vigilant of dangerous drivers and be aware of your own driving habits. According to a study by AAA, drowsy driving accounts for 17% of all motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Unlike drunk driving accidents, where a driver’s blood alcohol content can be measured, there is no objective way to measure how tired a person is.

Continue reading "Fatigued Driving in Massachusetts: As Dangerous as Driving Drunk" »

April 12, 2013

Fatal Text Message Serves as Warning to Massachusetts Drivers of the Dangers of Distracted Driving

The parents of a University of Northern Colorado student who died last week while texting and driving, are hoping that a photo of the text he was sending just before he crashed, will remind other drivers to put the phone down while behind the wheel.

“In a split second you could ruin your future, injure or kill others, and tear a hole in the heart of everyone who loves you,” the victim's mother, Sharron Heit said.
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Alexander Heit was responding to a friend’s message when he drifted into oncoming traffic, jerked the wheel of his car, and then went off the road, rolling his car. Heit never sent the message and a screenshot from his iPhone was published to serve as a stark reminder of the dangers of distracted driving.

MA Laws

Massachusetts has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to texting and driving. While individuals over 18 are allowed to talk on a cell phone while driving, all drivers, no matter what type of license they carry are banned from text messaging while operating a motor vehicle.

Continue reading "Fatal Text Message Serves as Warning to Massachusetts Drivers of the Dangers of Distracted Driving" »

April 3, 2013

Investigation Finds Boston, MA Cabs Seriously Underinsured

In a recent article published by Boston.com, the Boston Globe Spotlight Team found that Boston Cab Company, in addition to other Boston taxi companies, remains dangerously underinsured, and keeps passengers and victims of cab accidents at risk.

According to the Spotlight Team, most of the Boston Cab Company cars operate with the minimum amount of required insurance to cover serious injuries. The $20,000 minimum coverage is only fraction of what most motorists on the road today have in coverage; less than half of what is required for bicycle messengering services in Boston ($50,000), and only a tiny fraction of that required of black livery cars at Logan Airport ($1 million).

The major problem with having such minimal insurance is the limited protection and compensation for victims involved in taxi cab accidents. Elizabeth Rideout and her mother, for example, were both injured when a cab driver lost control of his vehicle, jumped a curb, and struck them while they were standing outside of a Logan Airport terminal. Rideout’s mother was dragged under the car’s axel and sustained injuries that left her hospitalized in Intensive Care for eight months. Boston Cab Co. initially offered $8,000 in compensation, and then increased their offer to no more than $20,000 stating that was all they were liable for.

Continue reading "Investigation Finds Boston, MA Cabs Seriously Underinsured" »

April 3, 2013

Gordon College Freshman Dies in Car Crash in Lakeville, MA

A Gordon College freshman died in a car crash Saturday in the southeastern Massachusetts town of Lakeville.

Officials pronounced Monica DeMello, 18, of Middleborough, dead at the scene after being involved in a two-vehicle accident on Route 44, according to a statement from the Lakeville Police Department.

The other driver, Kathleen Allen, 23, of Middleborough, is scheduled to be arraigned in Wareham District Court on a number of charges, including drunken driving negligence, motor vehicle homicide, drunken driving with serious injury and negligence, driving to endanger, and a marked lanes violation. Emergency responders transported her unidentified passenger by medical helicopter to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Gordon College President D. Michael Lindsay wrote on the school’s Facebook page, “This is a tragedy and a shock to all of us, especially on the eve of Easter.” Lindsay said university officials will be talking with students to determine the best way for faculty, staff, and students to “celebrate Monica’s life and to grieve her loss as a community.” “May the blessed assurance of Monica’s place with our risen Savior be a comfort in these coming days,” Lindsay wrote.

A Facebook page created in DeMello’s honor now has over 900 members. The introduction page read, “We were blessed by such a beautiful person and the world is a better place by having her. You’ve earned your Angel wings Monica, now fly over us all and protect us.” Family, friends, classmates, former classmates, and well-wishers have all posted comments expressing their grief and shock at her death.

DeMello graduated from Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical High School, and formerly lived in Taunton, MA. Her mother and sister live in Middleborough, and her father resides in Florida.

Rick Sweeney, the college’s vice president for marketing and communications, said the school is planning “some opportunity for the entire campus to come together.” He described DeMello’s passing as a tragedy for her family and friends, as well as the other driver involved. The community will “remember her as a wonderful girl full of life,” he said.

Notifying the Gordon College community was challenging, Sweeney said, because students were off for Good Friday and the Monday after Easter. Students will be back on campus, where about 1,530 undergraduates live, this week.


Continue reading "Gordon College Freshman Dies in Car Crash in Lakeville, MA" »

March 27, 2013

Police Say Weymouth, MA Driver Intentionally Struck Pedestrian

Police claim a patron left Buck’s Bar & Grill without paying his tab, climbed into his car, and rammed a customer who chased him outside trying to get him to pay his bill.

Captain Rick Fuller said the driver, Michael K. Fay, 48, of Weymouth, MA refused to pay his bill and then left the restaurant. “The victim followed him outside and demanded that he return and pay the bar tab,” Fuller said. “The suspect attempted to back out and struck the victim, pinning him between two vehicles. The suspect then fled the area.”

Fay now faces criminal charges including leaving the scene of an accident after causing personal injury, operating under the influence of alcohol and causing serious bodily injury, operating a motor vehicle to endanger and leaving an accident scene after causing property damage.

Emergency responders transported the alleged victim, a 38-year-old Weymouth man, to South Shore Hospital for treatment of severe trauma, said Fuller. “The victim was later transported to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston because of the severity of his injuries,” he said. The incident took place at around 8:36 p.m.

Police found Fay shortly after the incident on North Street after officer Ryan Hamacher recognized the license plate number and vehicle matched the description witnesses provided, Fuller said. “It was confirmed that Fay was the suspect in this hit-and-run pedestrian crash,” he said.

Fay allegedly failed numerous field sobriety tests before officials charged him with operating under the influence and other offenses, according to Fuller.

Police held Fay overnight at police headquarters on $5,000 cash bail before his arraignment, Fuller said.

“The accident is currently being investigated by the Weymouth Police Fatal Crash Reconstruction Team,” Fuller stated.

Continue reading "Police Say Weymouth, MA Driver Intentionally Struck Pedestrian" »

March 25, 2013

Two Drivers Stuck Under Tanker in Crash on Mass Pike in Framingham, MA

Two women were hurt when the vehicle they were in crashed and became lodged under a tanker truck on the Mass Pike in Framingham, MA.

The accident occurred when a 2011 Honda Pilot traveling in the left lane drifted into the breakdown lane, struck a guard rail, swung back across the road and hit the side of a 2006 Western Star Tanker Trailer, said Trooper Thomas McCarthy in his report. This caused the tanker to jackknife and block all three lanes. A third vehicle, a 2013 Honda CRV carrying Lisa Nguyen, 32, of Malden, and Trang Pham, 39, of Everett, crashed and became stuck under the tanker.

Framingham EMS brought Pham and Nguyen to Leonard Morse Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The driver of the tanker was not injured and the operator of the Honda Pilot sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

The accident resulted in the closure of all traffic lanes for an hour during the rescue operation, investigation, and clean-up, backing up traffic for about five miles.

Multiple people contacted the State Police Barracks in Weston about the crash on Route 90 Westbound at the 115 mile marker in Framingham. State police, and Framingham and Natick Fire and EMS all responded to the crash.

Troop E of the Massachusetts State Police and the State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Section are investigating the accident.

Continue reading "Two Drivers Stuck Under Tanker in Crash on Mass Pike in Framingham, MA" »

March 19, 2013

Mother and Daughter Hurt in Arlington, MA Car Crash

A vehicle with five juveniles and an open container of alcohol struck and injured a mother and daughter, said Arlington Police Captain Richard Flynn.

Police responded to the incident on Sunday at 6:30 p.m., after the car full of juveniles crashed into the automobile carrying a mother and her daughter, which then hit a car parked in a driveway. All three vehicles sustained major front-end damage.

Firefighters used the Jaws of Life to free the daughter from the second car, Flynn said. She reported back and hip pain, and was bleeding from the head, while her mother complained of back and neck pain. Emergency responders brought them both to Massachusetts General Hospital.

Three juveniles left the other car unharmed, Flynn said. An officer smelled alcohol on them and noticed an open container of alcohol in the vehicle, but they all denied drinking. The female driver passed field sobriety tests. Police tracked down two young men who fled the vehicle, Flynn said. When Flynn asked why they left, they claimed they were worried of getting in trouble, but denied drinking, he said.

Police charged all five juveniles with possession of alcohol as minors, having an open container in a vehicle, and the driver with speeding and operating a vehicle to endanger, Flynn said.

Continue reading "Mother and Daughter Hurt in Arlington, MA Car Crash" »

March 18, 2013

Car Crash Knocks Out Power to Hundreds in Longmeadow, MA.

A single car crash knocked out power to hundreds of residents in Longmeadow, MA.

Longmeadow police and fire departments responded to the accident that occurred just before 6:30 p.m. near the Longmeadow Country Club. Slick road conditions caused the 16-year-old woman driver, whose name authorities did not release, to lose control of the vehicle she was operating and strike a telephone pole at 400 Shaker Road, resulting in the outage. The woman was able to free herself from the vehicle before it burst into flames.

Fire Captain Andrew Fraser said it was a miracle that she escaped her vehicle safely. “No one can figure out how she got out without getting electrocuted. It was a 1 in a million chance,” says Captain Fraser.

A witness to the accident, Sarah McCarthy, helped save the driver’s life. McCarthy was passing by after staying late at work when she and her daughter saw the minivan slide on ice, cross Shaker Road, and collide with the telephone pole. The 16-year-old girl got out of the vehicle and looked stunned, standing within feet of 13,000 volt power lines. McCarthy recognized the girl as one of her daughter’s friends. “I called over to her come here now in the best motherly tone I could. She got into the back of my car. I threw it in reverse and just as that happened, there was an explosion,” McCarthy said.

Longmeadow Police Captain John Stankiewicz said the girl was lucky. In my career, I have not seen something of this magnitude where somebody survived. She is a very fortunate young lady,” he said. Most of the time, he added, it’s safer to stay in your car if wires fall on it because the car is grounded. “It’s the lesser of two evils. You have to pick your poison. In this situation, she chose the right course of action,” he said.

The crashed caused about 650 Western Mass. Electric customers to lose electricity. WMEC said they sent a crew to make repairs, and had power turned on for just about every affected customer by 8:30 p.m. They hope to restore power to any remaining customers as quickly as possible.

The accident resulted in approximately $100,000 in damages to three poles, phone and power lines, and equipment, said Fire Captain Fraser.

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March 15, 2013

Good Samaritan Helps Save Woman Trapped in Fiery Car Crash in Westminster, MA

A Good Samaritan helped saved a woman from a fiery car after she crashed head-on into another vehicle in Westminster last night.

The young woman was driving on Route 140 when she swerved into the other lane and struck an oncoming car carrying two male passengers. The woman’s car became engulfed in flames, and firefighters were dispatched to the scene.

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March 12, 2013

Former Middleboro, MA Teacher Dies in Tragic Car Crash

A former Middleboro High School teacher and boys soccer coach died in a car crash Saturday night.

James Braga was driving on Route 44 when his vehicle collided with another car just after 9:00 p.m. Officials pronounced Braga dead at the scene at 9:25 p.m., said Bridget N. Middleton, spokesperson for Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz. State and local police are investigating the accident, Middleton said.

Selectman Alfred P. Rullo Jr., who has known Braga since high school, said the news hit him hard. “He was a good friend. I’m going to miss him a lot. This is a tough one. Middleboro lost one of their good guys that’s for sure.” Rullo spent Sunday with Braga’s family. He explained that they were too grief-stricken to speak with the media. “It’s a nightmare. They need some time,” he said.

It appears that one of the cars was traveling west on Route 44 when it crashed into another car that was heading south on Everett Street, but Middleton refused to specify which car Braga was operating.

Three ambulances and a medical helicopter responded to the crash, according to police scanner reports. An unidentified man was also hurt in the crash, Middleton said. Emergency responders brought him to a Boston-area hospital for treatment, and he was eventually released.

Braga left behind his wife Kerrie (Mosley) Braga, three sons, Jonathan, 29, James, 36, and Keith 41, and a sister, Gail, who is living in New York.

Funeral arrangements have not been made, but the service will likely take place in Middleboro, Selectman Rullo said.

Selectman Rullo said he and Braga became friends after high school. They were part of a foursome that took an annual golf vacation to New Hampshire. “He loved to play golf,” Rullo said. Braga was a few years behind Rullo in high school, and served in the U.S. Air Force.

Braga taught high school business and coached the boys soccer team, taking them to the championship, Rullo said. Braga lost his teaching position when the business program was cut. He then went on to have a career inspecting older, urban properties scheduled for rehabilitation with federal money, Rullo said.


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March 7, 2013

Andover, MA Man Dies in Collision on Route 125

An Andover, MA man was killed and two others were seriously injured in a head-on collision on Route 125 in Wilmington.

Robert Leon, 47, of Andover, died after the 2013 Toyota Corolla he was operating crashed head-first into a 2004 Chevrolet K1500 SUV. The Corolla crossed the center line, narrowly missed another vehicle, and then crashed into the SUV. Officials are still investigating why Leon’s vehicle crossed the center line.

The collision took place at around 8:30 p.m. on a stretch of Route 125 close to the North Reading line.

Wilmington and Andover Fire Departments arrived at the accident site, and used the Jaws of Life to free Leon from his car. Officials pronounced him dead at the scene.

Massachusetts State Police have identified the occupants of the SUV, but are not releasing their names. Officials believe that the 43-year-old man and 12-year-old boy, both of Wilmington, are father and son. An ambulance brought them to Lawrence General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Troop A of the State Police is investigating the accident with assistance from the State Police Collision Analysis Reconstruction Section, Crime Scene Photo, Wilmington and Andover Police Departments, and Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

Route 125 was closed for about 2 ½ hours when investigators and cleanup crews were on the scene.

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March 4, 2013

Peabody, MA Resident Faces Hit-and-Run Charges Following Boston Pedestrian Accident

On Sunday, March 3, 2013, a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle as she was crossing Lansdowne Street in Boston, MA. The pedestrian, whose identity and current medical condition has not yet been released by the authorities, was transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for treatment following the collision.

Boston Police Department Foot Patrolmen witnessed the accident. The Officers witnessed a Mercury Grand Marquis strike the pedestrian around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. According to a press release from the Boston Police Department, “[t]he vehicle did not attempt to stop after striking the victim.”

Following the hit-and-run accident, the Police released a broadcast which described the vehicle involved in the incident. Subsequently, the Boston Police stopped the suspect’s car on Boylston Street. The Police then identified the driver as 30 year old Everett W. Strauss of Peabody, Massachusetts.

Straus has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury and possession of a Class D drug.


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February 27, 2013

Bus with UMaine Basketball Players Crashes North of Boston, MA

A bus transporting members of the University of Maine women’s basketball team crashed north of Boston Tuesday night. The bus crossed the median of Interstate 95 and four northbound lanes before plowing into the woods, severely injuring the driver and causing minor injuries to many passengers.

Emergency responders freed the unidentified driver from, and transported him or her by MedFlight helicopter to Boston Medical Center. The team’s coach suffered facial lacerations. The players were more fortunate, sustaining what seemed to be less severe injuries.

University of Maine assistant coach and former WNBA recruiter Jhasmine Player described how the accident unfolded. “We hit the strip, and that is how we knew something was going on," Player said. "From there, all I saw was lights. The only screams we heard were from our coaches who told us to get down and stay down." “Our head coaches were able to tell us to get down and brace ourselves," Player said.

Authorities said they are still trying to determine the cause of the accident at around 8:30 p.m., but their early stages of the investigation point to the driver having some kind of a medical incident, said State Police spokesman David Procopio. The driver was conscious when investigators interviewed him at Boston Medical Center, said Major Arthur Sugrue of the State Police early Wednesday. He suffered several broken bones, but not any fatal injuries, Sugrue said. Authorities are unlikely to charge the driver with any crimes, but troopers will verify whether his medical records were current, Sugrue said.

Sugrue said investigators will examine any footage they recover from the bus’ black box. He added that there was no evidence the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Around the country, anxious parents checked in with their children by phone to make sure they were ok. In Worcester, Leo Nalivaike said her daughter called briefly to report she was uninjured but being taken to the hospital for examination. “She’s shaken up and nerved up, and of course being parents -- of course we’re also shaken up,” said Nalivaika. “This could’ve been worse. We’re just hoping for the best for the bus driver and the rest of the squad.”


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February 21, 2013

Plow Driver Rescues Danvers, MA Man in Fiery Crash

We previously blogged about a Danvers, MA man involved in a collision with a plow truck on Interstate 95 last Tuesday. Now, the plow truck driver has come forward to give his account of the accident.

Howie Lane of Essex, MA was parked in the breakdown lane before Exit 47, watching his co-worker move snow with a front-end loader. They were operating under a private contract for the state. Suddenly, 35-year-old Franco Carullo drove a 2008 Jeep Wrangler into Lane’s plow truck. “He went from 55 miles per hour, 60 miles per hour, to nothing,” Lane said. “We couldn’t understand how the guy hit us.”

Lane jumped out of his vehicle after the impact, slipped and fell to the ground, and then hurried over to the crashed Jeep with his co-worker. They saw Carullo inside, and it appeared he was unconscious. They tried to enter, but the doors were locked and they couldn’t open the windows.

Lane smashed the window with a hammer, which allowed them to open the door. They had difficulty freeing Carullo from the vehicle because the deployed airbag had pinned the seatbelt against him. While they were struggling to unbuckle Carullo’s seatbelt, flames began to engulf the vehicle. “I never felt so useless in my life,” Lane said. Lane said this experience convinced him of the importance of always carrying a knife.

Their persistence paid off when they finally unlatched Carullo’s seatbelt. “When that seat belt released, I felt like I hit Megabucks,” Lane said. Then the two dragged the unconscious Carullo, whose legs were broken and pants on fire, to a safe distance from the car, shortly before it burst into flames. “As we dragged him out, the car blew up,” Lane said.

“I was just relieved we got him out,” Lane said. “It turned out good, but I got to tell you, when it was all going down, it was bad. It was a bad deal.”

According to Lane, Carullo regained consciousness minutes later, asking “Is this my Jeep?” Carullo responded, “You can forget the Jeep. The Jeep is junk. It’s burned to a crisp.”

Carullo communicated that he might have fallen asleep while driving, Lane said.

Emergency responders arrived at the accident scene by 2:05 a.m. An ambulance brought him to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

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February 20, 2013

Mom and Son Killed in Tragic Fitchburg, MA Car Crash

A head-on automobile crash left a mother and son dead and another man severely injured in Fitchburg Sunday morning. Michelle Martens, 36, and her son, Justin Fournier, 16, both residents of Ashby were killed in the 10:00 a.m. collision, officials said. Emergency responders brought Wayne F. Patenaude to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester with serious injuries, police said.

Martens and Fournier were traveling in a Kia Sportage that crossed over a marked lane on Route 31, hitting the Chevy Silverado Patenaude was driving, investigators said. Police are unsure who was driving the Kia at the time.

All three of the victims were connected to the fire department in Ashby, a small town in central Massachusetts. Ashby Fire Chief William Seymour Jr. said Martens was an EMT and third-generation firefighter, Fournier a participant in the department’s auxiliary program, and Patenaude a volunteer EMT with the department. “It still seems like it's a nightmare,” Seymour said.

Peter McMurray, chairman of the Ashby Board of Selectmen, said of the deaths “it was a shock.” “We’re a small town, and everyone knew her through her father and grandfather. Everyone’s taking it pretty hard.” McMurray said he had worked alongside Martens many times.

The Ashby Fire Department held a meeting on Sunday morning to inform first responders of Martens’ death, McMurray said. “I think everybody will think about her for quite a while,” he said.

Perenaude suffered injuries to his head and right arm, and had a crushed right heel, Seymour said. He was expected to remain hospitalized overnight, according to the district attorney’s office.

Police said they are investigating if weather played a role in the accident. "The road was extremely slippery at that time this morning and it’s just too bad to start off a Sunday morning that way," said fire deputy John Curran.


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February 14, 2013

Danvers, MA Man Hurt in Crash with Dump Truck

A Danvers man was severely injured after crashing his vehicle into a state dump truck on Interstate 95. Franco Carullo, 35, was traveling in a northbound lane before 2:00 a.m. when he rear-ended a Massachusetts Department of Transportation dump truck, said state police spokesman Thomas Murphy. The dump truck was removing snow from the breakdown lane around Exit 47 at the time of the accident.

An unidentified “civilian witness” pulled Carullo from his 2008 Jeep Wrangler shortly before it burst into flames, Murphy said. Murphy was unable to confirm whether the witness was the driver of the dump truck or a passing motorist. By the time emergency responders arrived, the Jeep was “fully engulfed in flames,” he said.

Emergency responders transported Carullo by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital, but a representative of the hospital said their directory didn’t have him listed as a patient. The dump truck driver did not sustain any reported injuries.

Officials briefly closed all lanes of I-95 while firefighters put out the blaze. Engine 3, Engine 7, and Car 2 responded to the accident and crews used 1,500 gallons of water to extinguish the fire, said Deputy Chief Richard Nelson. The Fire Department received a report of the crash at 1:53 a.m. and was at the scene by 2:05, he said.


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February 12, 2013

Father Comes to Massachusetts to Educate About Distracted Driving Accidents

A Philadelphia lawyer brought his campaign against distracted driving to Massachusetts. Joel Feldman gave his presentation at the State House on Monday, one day after a bus full of students crashed into an overpass. Feldman believes that at least part of the cause of that accident was the driver being distracted with GPS.

One of the keys to reducing distracted driving accidents, according to Feldman, is to educate students. “I’m a firm believer that the kids are better listeners than the parents,” Feldman said. “We get emails from kids and parents and part of the program is the kids speak with their parents. I’m convinced the kids are going to change the driving culture.”

Feldman views distracted driving as a cultural problem. “It’s kind of in terms of the way I used a seat belt when I was growing up, because my parents never did,” he said. “Then 20 years ago people started to look at drunk driving in a different way. And now the kids of today will be the impetus on how we will look at distracted driving.”

Part of Feldman’s presentation involved a new video that discussed the perils of distracted driving. The video showed both the driver and survivors of an accident that took place in Massachusetts, and resulted in a fatality. “In this case, the driver contacted the family and said ‘I’m so sorry,’” Feldman said. “The family said she should do something about it, so we started using her to give presentations in high schools. It is so compelling that we wanted to do a video with her and the family said we want to tell our side as well.”

Feldman chose to premiere the video in Massachusetts since the people featured in it are from the state. The video is available here.

An accident that struck too close to home inspired Feldman to undertake his crusade against distracted driving. Feldman and his wife, Dianne Anderson, lost their 21-year-old daughter Casey when a distracted driver hit and killed her as she was walking to work in July of 2009 in Ocean City, N.J.

Cell phone use is just one aspect of distracted driving, Feldman emphasized. “Texting and cellphone use, that causes less than a third of distracted driving accidents,” Feldman said. “We still have two-thirds of the causes out there. There needs to be education and awareness.”

Feldman says he has given the presentation to 7,500 students since April. He plans on having others give the presentation too, hoping to reach about 200,000 students by June.


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February 11, 2013

Interstate 93 Rollover Leaves Groton, MA Woman Dead, Boy Critical

An SUV rollover on Interstate 93 resulted in the death of a Groton woman and critical injury to a 7-year-old boy.

Nicola Deluca, 23, was transported to Lawrence General Hospital, where she was declared dead Thursday afternoon.

A helicopter brought the boy who was riding with her to Massachusetts General Hospital.

According to Methuen fire officials, he has life-threatening injuries. Police said he was in critical condition immediately after the accident.

Deluca was driving the blue 1998 Chevrolet Blazer with New Hampshire plates when it swerved in the left lane of Interstate 93 southbound between the Pelham Street and Lowell Street exits in Methuen, rolling over multiple times before coming to a halt with its roof pressed against the rail barrier on the median. The State Police collision team was reconstructing the crash to get a better understanding of how it occurred.

The relationship between Deluca and the boy is unclear. The Blazer was packed with clothes and cleaning supplies that spilled out onto the grass median.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident, but it did tie up traffic northbound beginning near Interstate 495. Police closed all of I-93 south briefly to allow the helicopter to land and take the boy to Boston. Some southbound lanes were closed for more than an hour, backing up traffic through Salem, N.H.

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February 8, 2013

Family of Bicyclist Sues After No Criminal Charges Filed in Fatal Wellesley, MA Accident

Officials decided not to file criminal charges against a truck driver who struck and killed a bicyclist, so now the deceased’s family is filing a lawsuit against the driver.

Alex Motsenigos, 41, was riding his bike on Weston Road on August 24 when an 18-wheel dump trailer him him. Emergency responders transported him to Newton-Wellesley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. “Alex was a wonderful husband and father who will never be forgotten. The family misses Alex incredibly and wishes to continue to honor his memory by celebrating the wonderful gifts he brought to all their lives,” the family said in a statement.

The grand jury announced Monday that it wouldn’t bring charges against the truck driver, Dana McCoomb of East Wareham, triggering the victim’s family to file the lawsuit in Norfolk Superior Court against the driver and his employer. "If the truck driver had used even basic care in operating the truck hat struck Alex down, the accident would have been avoided and Alex would be alive today," lawyers for the family said in a statement.

The lawsuit alleges McCoomb has a history of driving violations. "His driving record demonstrated numerous driving violations which should have put Mabardy and Truck Leasing on notice McCoomb was an extremely dangerous driver who should not have been behind the wheel of a truck," the lawsuit reads.

Records from the Registry of Motor Vehicles show that since 1982, McCoomb has received 26 moving violations, 11 of which were for speeding and seven for surchargeable accidents. Two of them occurred in the 12 months leading up to the fatal collision in Wellesley.

The lawsuit also questions the condition of the truck itself, arguing that the horn wasn’t functioning correctly, based on information from the police investigation.

Investigators questioned McCoomb about the incident, his past driving record, and whether he intentionally hit Motsenigos. According to the police report, McCoomb told investigators that he was aware of the incident, but “I didn’t hit him. That’s for sure. I know damn well I didn’t.”

A lawyer for Mabardy said McCoomb was properly licensed.


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February 5, 2013

MA State Police: Drive Slowly to Avoid Car Accidents in Snow

With winter not yet finished bringing more dangerous road conditions and car accidents to the area, Massachusetts State Police are advising people to drive slowly but not to panic. "Once again, Massachusetts is gearing up for another snow storm," State Police said in a press release. "This can cause major delays in traffic, accidents and other headaches making the daily commute stressful."

Police offered the following tips to help reduce the risk of car accidents:

1. Be patient. "It's New England, and we’ve been here before," officials stated. "Remember to be patient with those operators with less skill driving in these expected conditions."

2. Slow down, so your vehicle will be less likely to slide when snow and freezing rain create slippery road conditions.

3. Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicles around you.

4. Plan ahead for the possibility that your commute will take longer than usual.

5. Having an SUV or other four-wheel drive vehicle doesn’t amount to invincibility. "Please, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security," officials wrote. "Your four-wheel drive vehicle does not ensure you have better stopping or steering capabilities."

6. Clear snow and ice off your vehicle before hitting the road. "Heavy chunks of snow coming off of buses and trucks can cause heavy damage to other vehicles," officials said. "Clearing off just enough snow to barely see out of a small cleared spot in your windshield doesn’t count."

7. Be careful around plow trucks and sanders, giving them plenty of space in which to operate.

8. Don’t text while driving. It’s always illegal and dangerous, but it becomes even more hazardous when wintery weather is in effect.

9. Don’t rage at other drivers. "Road rage will not get to your destination any faster," State Police advised. "Don’t engage other operators in aggressive driving. Please note your location and call 911 if you observe such behavior."

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February 1, 2013

Driver Hits and Kills Elderly Pedestrian in Peabody, MA

An elderly man was hit and killed as he walked across Lowell Street in Peabody after leaving St. Adelaide Church on Sunday. Theodore Buttner, 87, of Somerville was in town visiting family. “He was coming to visit us,” said Patricia Caton, his daughter. “He thought we were at the church, but we weren’t there. He was on his way to our house.”

The driver, Richard Franco, 84, of Peabody struck Buttner at around 1:00 p.m. with his 2004 Buick LeSabre, Police said. Buttner died later that night at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Officials have not cited or charged Franco, and are still investigating the incident, said Peabody police Detective Michael Crane. A state police accident reconstruction team is helping to investigate. Officials will not release any additional details about the crash until the investigation is complete, Crane said.

Buttner, who went by the nickname Ted, regularly attended St. Adelaide’s when visiting family, even though he was from out of town. Caton learned her father was at church only after she received a phone call from Peabody police informing her that a car had hit him. “It was devastating,” Caton said.

Butter served in the Navy in World War II, stationed at Pearl Harbor. After that, he worked for the MBTA for 35 years. He was married to his late wife, Theresa, for 57 year. He had five children, seven grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter. “He loved to get together with us as a family,” Caton said. “He enjoyed the holidays and cookouts.” He was a devout Catholic, and met Cardinal Sean O’Malley when he visited St. Adelaide last year, said Canton.

A nurse and many others came to Buttner’s assistance on the day of the accident. “He was never alone; they stayed with him,” she said. “It means a lot to my family that he was not alone when that tragedy occurred.”

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January 29, 2013

Two Women Injured in Head-On Crash in Franklin, MA

Two women drivers were hurt in a head-on collision in Franklin, MA, police said. A Toyota Solara heading northbound on Route 140 near Franklin Village Shopping Center crossed over the median, knocked over multiple road signs, and then slammed front-first into a Saturn Ion traveling in the southbound lane, police said. Dispatchers received numerous 911 calls at 8:33 pm reporting the two-vehicle accident, according to the Franklin police log.

Firefighters who arrived at the accident scene used hydraulic rescue tools to free the 47-year-old Bellingham woman from the Toyota. A medical rescue helicopter brought her to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, said Franklin Fire Chief Gary McCarraher. "She had an underlying medical (condition), which we think may have had something to do with the cause (of the accident), but it’s still under investigation," McCarraher said. He added that her injuries were “severe.”

The driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash, a Saturn Ion, was able to climb out of her car without help. An ambulance brought her to Milford Regional Medical Center, and she has since been released, said McCarraher. "She was really lucky. She was walking around on scene for a little bit before we arrived," McCarraher said. "We had her sit down, and she complained of some injuries."

Officials closed the southbound lane of Route 140, where the accident occurred, while police and firefighters removed car fluid and debris from the roadway and Franklin Police Officer Richard Grover performed accident reconstruction. A tow truck removed both vehicles.


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January 25, 2013

Most Dangerous Intersection in MA Pioneer Valley Gets Improvements

The most dangerous intersection in Western Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley is about to get safer.

Planned improvements to the intersection of Boston Road and Parker Street in Springfield include advanced signage to help drivers plan where they’re going in the intersection, increasing the size and brightness of traffic signals, enhancing nighttime lighting, and most significantly: consolidating commercial driveways near the intersection to improve traffic flow, said Allan Chwalek, Springfield’s public works superintendent.

These changes are due in part to a recent report from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission that examined 100 high-crash intersections in the region, and found Boston Road-Parker Street to be the most dangerous.

Longtime Springfield resident Jennifer Smith, who was running an errand at the Walgreens located at the intersection’s northeast corner, said she was so frustrated with traffic on this busy roadway that she decided to move to Wilbraham, “That way, I never have to drive on Parker Street again.”

Even with the scheduled improvements, however, the intersection will probably remain in the list of top 10 most dangerous intersections due to the high volume of traffic that flows through it, said Chwalek. “It’s just an incredibly busy intersection,” he said. “There is not a tremendous amount of changes that can be done. I would be surprised if it ever fell out of the top 10.” Approximately 50,000 vehicles a day – totaling 16 to 17 million a year – travel through the Boston Road – Parker Street intersection, earning it the distinction of busiest crossroads in Western Mass, said Chwalek.

The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission conducts traffic studies every other year, but this was the first time comprehensive data for Springfield and the Boston Road – Parker Street intersection was included, said executive director Timothy Brennan. The studies have found that almost half of the Pioneer Valley’s high-crash intersections are located in Springfield. “It was definitely the ‘aha’ moment’” (pertaining to the study), said Brennan.

One positive takeaway from these statistics is that the high number of accidents in Springfield will help attract state and federal funds to make the city’s roads safer. “More and more at the federal and state level, safety has become a key criteria in how federal and state dollars are spent,” Brennan said.


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January 23, 2013

Snow Contributes to Multiple Crashes in Salem, MA Area

Wintery weather contributed to a number of automobile accidents in Salem, MA and surrounding communities last Wednesday.

A woman driving a Toyota Corolla slid into a Ford F-250 truck that was parked on the side of the road at 290 Canal St. while the driver was trying to active the vehicle’s four-wheel drive. Manna Whitfield was identified as the driver of the Corolla and Matthew Plauche as the driver of the F-250. Both Salem residents escaped injury, said police.

Another driver, Robert Dee of Salem was struck the right rear of a school bus and then skidded into a parked car. He was traveling down Wilson Street toward Jefferson Avenue when he tried to brake but couldn’t stop. There were no reported injuries to either Dee, the bus driver, or any of the passengers. Police didn’t issue any citations. “It was snowing, and the roads were very slippery,” according to police.

Shortly after that, Walden Miranda of Lynn crashed into the rear bumper of an MBTA bus at 285 Lafayette St. The bus was picking up passengers at the time, but there were no reported injuries. The Maxima sustained damage to its front grill and bumper, and the bus had minor unspecified damage.

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January 21, 2013

Driver Charged After Crashing into Park Bench, Injuring 71-Year-Old in Haverhill, MA

A MA driver is now facing criminal charges after crashing his vehicle into a park bench in Haverhill, injuring a 71-year-old man on August 31.

Angel Suarez, 66, of Methuen, was arraigned in Haverhill District Court on multiple charges stemming from the collision. The victim, Victor Welch of Haverhill, who was sleeping on the bench at the GAR park across the street from the public library, lost his finger and suffered injury to his hip, ribs, and shoulder, said police. The district attorney’s office has not explained why it took over four months to bring Suarez to court.

Police said Suarez was driving drunk at the time, and that he also hit the Korean War Memorial. Suarez paused for approximately 30 seconds before driving off, said Prosecutor Stephen Patten. Suarez traveled over the New Hampshire border into Newton, where his SUV went off the road and he was arrested, police said.

Newton police found Suarez’s pockets contained three receipts from a restaurant in Salem, showing he purchased six margaritas and three beers about an hour before his vehicle went off the road on Route 108 in Newton, said police. Suarez failed a field sobriety test and was charged with driving drunk. A breathalyzer test showed he had a blood alcohol level of .196. “Police had to hold him up” and he “was in total disbelief that he was in New Hampshire, according to Patten.

In Haverhill Wednesday, Suarez was arraigned on charges of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and three counts of leaving the scene of property damage.

Robert Lewin, Suarez’s defense attorney, said his client accepted “full responsibility” by pleading guilty to drunken driving in New Hampshire and that he will be participating in a drunk driver education program in New Hampshire this week. Also, Suarez had his license revoked indefinitely in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, Lewin said.

Patten asked Judge Stephen Abany to hold Suarez on $10,000 cash bail, arguing that Suarez has a “real problem with alcohol.” Lewin argued that a high bail isn’t justified because Suarez showed up for all of his hearings in New Hampshire, cooperated with Newton police, and allowed Haverhill police to search his vehicle.

Judge Abany ordered Suarez to return to court on February 27 for a pretrial hearing.


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January 20, 2013

Somerville Had Fewer Serious Traffic Accidents in 2012

Serious traffic accidents in Somerville were down in Somerville in 2012, according to data from Somerville Police. Police Chief Tom Pasquarello announced on Wednesday that serious accidents were reduced by 23.8 percent in 2012.

Pasquarello links the reduction in accidents to the efforts of Somerville police. “There appears to be a direct correlation between the sharp reduction in serious accidents and an aggressive effort by Somerville Police to step up traffic regulation enforcement in high-accident areas,” Pasquarello said.

In 2011, there were 455 serious accidents in Somerville that resulted in personal injury or damage exceeding $1,000. In 2012, there were 350. These numbers don’t take into account crashes that occurred on state highways. Somerville had no motor-vehicle related fatalities in 2012.

Somerville police sought to improve the safety of city streets by focusing enforcement in areas where traffic accidents had occurred in the past. “Using smart enforcement to reduce accidents is making our streets safer for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians,” Pasquarello said. Somerville police issued 11,076 moving violations in 2012 compared to 8,239 in 2011.

A grant from the Governor’s Highway Safety Bureau helped the Somerville Police Traffic Unit to implement specialized enforcement measures, such as using plain clothes officers as pedestrians and looking for seat belt offenses by drivers who commit other violations. The Unit also focused on enforcing bicycle traffic safety rules. Pasquarello said of these measures, “Enhanced traffic enforcement based on statistical analysis has significantly improved safety for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists across the city. In the year ahead, we plan to do even more with statistical analysis of trends and hot spots, not only in the area of traffic enforcement, but in other areas of community policing.”

Somerville police, in conjunction with the city’s Department of Public Works and Traffic and Parking Department, have also been analyzing whether roadway, signage, and signaling can make Somerville streets safer.

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January 18, 2013

Police Catch Truck Driver Involved in Fatal Hit-and-Run in Webster, MA

State Police have apprehended the truck driver involved in a fatal hit-and-run collision on Tuesday night in Webster, MA. “The truck’s operator is a 44-year-old Dracut man, who was interviewed by field troopers and State Police detectives assigned to the Worcester District Attorney’s Office early this morning," said a spokesman for the Massachusetts State Police. Authorities are not releasing his name at this time.

The driver struck and killed Jeremy Paige, 24, of Webster, MA at 11:10 p.m. while Paige was walking in the westbound travel lane on the ramp from Cudworth Road to Route 395. The driver continued driving until police stopped him in Woburn, MA shortly after midnight, said Mass State Police.

State Police officers investigating the incident tracked the vehicle to the LKO Corporation, and eventually found it on Route 93 near exit 37. Authorities had the truck towed to Cody’s tow yard, impounding it for further investigation, although initial reports indicate that it was in fact the vehicle involved in the crash, said the Mass State Police.

Authorities are still deciding whether to file criminal charges against the driver.


Hit-and-Run Collisions with Pedestrians

Our attorneys at Altman & Altman, LLP recognize the tragic consequences hit-and-run collisions can have for victims and their families. Unfortunately, these incidents happen too frequently in Massachusetts.

Drivers are legally required to stop after being involved in an accident. Most do, but some, perhaps fearing prosecution and jail time, flee the scene of the crash. When police eventually locate the driver, as they almost always do, the penalties will be stiffer than if he or she had stopped.

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January 17, 2013

Car Hits Two Pedestrians in Malden, MA

A motor vehicle struck two pedestrians Wednesday night in Malden, MA. One of the pedestrians, a 50-year-old woman, died in the collision, Malden police said. Authorities have not released her name. The car also struck a 45-year-old man, resulting in his transportation to a local hospital for treatment.

Authorities did not release his name either, but his wife later identified him as “Mr. He.” She stated to the Malden Observer that the accident occurred after He had just exited the bus and was on his way home from work. “We’re still in shock,” she said. “He's only one minute away from home, and in the middle of nowhere, there came a car driving so fast it just hit him. He didn't see it coming at all..we're still shaken by the whole thing and feel very bad about the woman who died from the accident, my husband was only one or two steps in front of her."

He was released from Mass General Hospital on Thursday after reporting injuries to his head, neck, back, and leg. The family relocated to the United States from Guanzhou, China six years ago and currently reside in local public housing, said He’s wife.

The accident is still under investigation, said Malden Police Lt. Marc Gatcomb.

Police arrived at the scene of collision in the Broadway area Wednesday evening after receiving reports of a vehicle hitting two pedestrians. They have identified the driver, who remained at the scene until authorities arrived, as a local woman, offering no additional details.

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December 19, 2012

Woman Passes Away Following Gloucester, MA Car Crash

An Ipswich woman has died after being involved in a two-car collision in Gloucester, MA on Saturday night, accord to Chief Leonard Campanello. Mary Lipman, 52, was transported from the scene of the accident to Addison Gilbert Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 9:47 p.m.

Rebecca Jacques, 52 of Gloucester, was driving the vehicle that collided with Lipman’s. Jacques will be arraigned on Monday in Gloucester District Court facing charges of negligent operation of a motor vehicle, operating after suspension, and a marked lane violation, authorities said. Prosecutors say more charges may be forthcoming. State and local police are continuing to investigate the incident.

Witnesses have given a preliminary account of how the accident occurred. According to numerous people who observed the incident, Jacques’ pick-up truck crossed back-and-forth from the outbound and inbound lanes to Gloucester when it struck Limpan’s vehicle, which had swerved to avoid the erratic pickup.

Chief Campanello would not confirm that account, but acknowledged that the collision involved one vehicle crossing the center line and striking the other. The district attorney’s office is still trying to reconstruct the accident, and it will be issuing a more complete report, possibly on Monday, said Campanello.

One witness reported that Jacques’ pickup truck was driving erratically on Emerson Avenue earlier in the day.

The driver of Lipman’s vehicle, an off-duty state trooper, was injured in the crash.

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December 6, 2012

Quincy, MA Increases Enforcement and Education after Pedestrian Accidents

Quincy, MA officials are responding to a slew of pedestrian accidents in the city this year.

“Something is happening here; something is going on in the City of Quincy that is leading to fatalities,” said Brian Palmucci, City Councilor and chairman of the public safety committee, at Monday night’s council meeting.

At least 92 pedestrian accidents have taken place in Quincy this year, including a November 16 accident outside the Kam Man Marketplace on Quincy Avenue, police said. Three of these accidents were fatal. “This is probably the most important public safety issue facing us,” stated city council President Michael McFarland.

Police have stopped 242 motorists and issued 181 citations between May 1 and the expiration of the grant on September 30, said James Fatseas, Mayor Thomas Koch’s chief of staff.

Fatseas said police are conducting undercover sting operations at high-volume intersections. In one such operation, an undercover female police officer pushes an empty baby carriage across a crosswalk. When someone drives through the crosswalk without yielding, a police officer located farther down the road pulls over the motorist.

The city began a campaign earlier this year to educate the public about pedestrian safety, and the police department has received a $5,000 state grant that will support pedestrian safety enforcement and education.

A number of city councilors recommended approaches other than education and enforcement. “Sometimes it takes engineering and technology, not just education and enforcement,” said City Councilor Douglas Gutro. Councilors proposed strategies such as helping business owners pay for safety upgrades outside their businesses, looking into luminescent signs and crosswalk treatments, and teaching school children safe driving practices.

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December 3, 2012

Police Identify and Cite Driver in Newton Centre, MA Hit-and-Run

Newton Police have identified and cited the driver who allegedly hit an elderly pedestrian in Newton Centre, MA and fled the scene without stopping. The driver, a 26-year-old Newton woman, received a citation for leaving the scene of an accident after causing personal injury, said Newton Police Lt. Bruce Apotheker.

Injuries to the unidentified pedestrian, who was transported to Beth-Israel Hospital after the incident, are not life threatening, according to Apotheker.

The accident took place at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Monday as the 94-year-old male pedestrian was crossing Centre Street near the intersection with Langley Road. The pedestrian was not in the crosswalk when the vehicle struck him, Apotheker said.

The driver did not stop after hitting the pedestrian, and police were searching for a silver Toyota after having found a silver side-view mirror of a Toyota at the scene.

Roughly an hour after the incident, however, the driver contacted police.

Police have spoken to the driver and are investigating the incident. Authorities shut down parts of Newton Centre, including Centre Street and Pleasant Street, to investigate the accident.

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November 26, 2012

Holiday Travel Car Safety

As Thanksgiving weekend comes to an end, so does one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, and New England roadways return to business as usual. An estimated 1.7 million people took to the roads in New England the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the days following the holiday proved to be as busy.

The busiest travel days in the Bay State occurred Wednesday and Sunday as major backups and minor accidents occurred. Traffic was heavy on Interstate 93 and the Mass Turnpike on Wednesday; on Thursday, holiday travelers were jammed in a thirteen mile backup on I-90. On Sunday, the intersecting point of Interstate 84 and Interstate 90 proved to be the source of the most traffic during the day.

Two minor car accidents occurred on the Mass Pike this Sunday as well as many similar accidents throughout the weekend. The accidents caused prolonged backups for a major part of the day. No major accidents were reported. Authorities in Connecticut reported that two people had died on the state’s roadways.

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November 24, 2012

Women Surpass Men in Holding Licenses, Impacting Car Accident and Safety Statistics

For the first time in American history, women drivers now exceed the amount of licensed drivers in the United States over men. The news came after a study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, which viewed gender trends in drivers licenses between 1995 and 2010, released its results. This reverses a long time gap between male and female drivers, dating all the way back to Henry Ford’s first Model T.

During the early twentieth century, women drivers were a minority and were ridiculed by men for driving. The trend continued in the Eisenhower era when only half of women eligible for drivers licenses held them; they were mostly expected to play the role of “homemakers” and raise families. As women started to enter the workforce and the idea of “women’s liberation” began to gain popularity, women started to drive more. By 1995, the number of women who obtained driver’s licenses were only slightly behind men, and in 2010, the trend finally reversed itself.

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November 9, 2012

Fall Nor'easter Endangers Roadways

Drivers in the Bay State, still recovered from last week’s hurricane, endured a strong Nor’easter that wreaked havoc on the roads, resulting in flooded and icy conditions. The storm left a total of nine inches of snow in Massachusetts, although many places received a mixture of rain and snow. It also produced strong wind gusts up to 75 miles per hour on the Cape and Islands and up to 50 miles per hour in Boston. The extreme weather amounted to a perfect storm of dangerous road conditions. 

State police reported a number of spinouts and accidents on major roadways, which were compounded by heavy traffic delays. An accident that occurred Wednesday on Route 28 in Bourne resulted in the fatality of a Rhode Island man after his car hydroplaned and struck a utility pole. Bourne and State police responded to the crash, and it remains under investigation. 

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November 7, 2012

Commonwealth Votes Yes on 'Right to Repair'

In Tuesday’s election, voters in the Commonwealth overwhelmingly voted to pass question number one, the “Right to Repair” ballot question. Boston.com reports that 85 percent of voters approved the question with 98 percent of the votes counted at 2pm on Wednesday. Question number one passed with the highest margins of the three 2012 Massachusetts election ballot questions.

The new law requires that, by 2015, automakers must provide dealers and repair shops access to software codes and information which make the diagnosis and car repair easier for them.

According to the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, William Francis Galvin, the law will not force any manufacturer to reveal trade secrets and also will not interfere with any agreements made by the manufacturer, dealer or authorized repair facility. Any violation of the law will be treated as a violation of state consumer protection and unfair trade practices.

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October 24, 2012

Enforcing the Anti-Text Law in Massachusetts

Everyone knows that it is illegal to text and drive. We hop in our car, we are pressed for time, and we pick up that phone anyway. There are people, however, who have found a loophole in the law that bans texting and driving. When one of these people get pulled over, the police officer may say, “Do you know why I pulled you over? You were texting on your phone.” The driver, well aware of the law against texting while operating a motor vehicle, quickly responds “No, officer, you must be mistaken. I was using the Maps application on my phone.” Unbeknownst to some drivers in Massachusetts, using your smartphone while driving is not illegal entirely but it is illegal to text. The specificity of this law has irked law enforcement as it is difficult for police officers to enforce this law.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) announced this week their approval of a grant of $550,000 for police departments in Connecticut and Massachusetts to test other another of enforcing the anti-texting laws – by spying on drivers. NHTSA chief, David Strickland, claims that the purpose of this grant is to find “real-world protocols and practices to better detect if a person is texting while driving.” This grant will fund “spotters on overpasses” as well as other roadways to find out if drivers are typing while they are operating their vehicle. Spying on motorists has already shown to work in North Dakota, where 31 tickets were issued in a matter of 2 days after police spied on drivers from unmarked vehicles.

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October 10, 2012

Busy Massachusetts Intersections Lead to Injuries

People no longer have to be in a car to be involved in a motor vehicle accident. Victims are involved in such accidents when they are struck by a car, and they suffer substantial injuries. On September 28th, 52-year old Mark Theobald was walking on Center Street in Stockton, Massachusetts when he was struck by an oncoming car. He was rushed to Boston Medical Center to be treated for his serious injuries, and as of October 1st, he remains in intensive care. The driver, Timothy Poh, reported the accident and no charges have been filed against him. The police assert that the driver will not be charged and found during the course of their investigation that the driver was not speeding but instead had a visibility issue.

Unfortunately, Theobald is not the only one who is injured by oncoming traffic. Just days before Theobald’s accident, a 55-year old bike rider who was hit by a SUV on Belmont Street. The man rode his bike across the street where no crosswalk is present and was struck by a blue Toyota Rav4. He was picked up and flown by a medical helicopter to be treated for his injuries. His injuries, which included serious head trauma, appear not to be life-threatening according to the local police. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The yellow bicycle was crumbled on the floor and the SUV had a crack on its windshield. This accident is no surprise to local residents, as the area has been known to be unsafe for everyone. The state Department of Transportation claims that the nearby intersection of Lorraine Avenue and Linwood Street is famous for accidents—millions of dollars in improvements are needed to make it safer. State reports from 2005 to 2007 indicate that the same intersection “had 56 crashes, which ranked 68th statewide during the time period.” The improvements, which include pedestrian crossing and traffic light installation, are scheduled to occur in the year 2014.

Another accident, occurring at the same time, involved a boy struck by a car on Battles Farm Drive and Battles Street. The child was transported to Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital to be treated for his injuries. The police indicated that the boy was not seriously hurt. None of the drivers of these accidents are being charged by the police, as the police asserted that the drivers were not at fault for the accidents. The police did not even charge the truck driver who struck and killed a 3-year old girl earlier this month.


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October 8, 2012

East Boston Woman Involved in Car Accident with Police Cruiser

There have been quite a number of auto accidents reported in the Boston area within the past year. Many residents within Massachusetts do not hop into their car expecting that an accident will occur, but they are not shocked when it happens, either. We pick up our keys and head fearlessly on to the roads of Boston, praying that we will avoid all of the possible mishaps. Have you ever traveled northbound on Route 93? Have you ever passed the Freeport Street exit? If this is a road that you travel frequently on, then you may have heard about or even saw what happened on October 3rd.

Maura Bertolino, a 30-year old woman residing in East Boston, decided to have a number of alcoholic drinks in the morning. Afterwards, she took off in her car and up Route 93 for a casual drive. As she approached the Freeport Street exit in Dorchester, she moved out of the center lane and on to the right lane. She then entered back on to the center lane, sped up, and crashed directly into the back of an unmarked police cruiser. As if this was not dangerous enough, she then put her car in reverse and backed into another car. Thankfully, no one was hurt from her negligent actions but Bertolino was taken to the hospital to be treated for severe intoxication.

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September 19, 2012

Elderly driver crashes into home

This past Saturday, on September 15, a car accident in Charlton, Massachusetts landed an elderly driver and her car inside a home on Sturbridge Road. The 82-year-old motorist, who has not been identified, was involved in a 2-car collision at about 5:40pm, according to local authorities. The second driver, identified only as a woman, 32, was injured and taken to Harrington Memorial Hospital. The older driver was transported to Umass Medical Center. The cause of the accident is presently under investigation.

I’ve written several blogs about various forms of car collisions. Cars landing in pools. Wrong-way drivers. Single-car accidents. The carnage of a collision when seatbelts aren’t used. I’m actually a little surprised that this is my first “Car crashes into building” blog. And I immediately became curious about how often something like this happens. Apparently, quite often. There was a rash of cars crashing into building late last year in western New York. Thirteen incidents in a matter of months. But nobody could ascertain why. There’s still no concrete data available to explain this kind of occurrence.

But there was also another personal aspect of this story that appealed to me because my father is officially an “elderly driver” now. His safety is a concern of mine. And I take comfort in knowing that, statistically speaking, as drivers become older, they become more conservative. Driving habits become adjusted through avoiding busy highways or abstaining from driving late at night. And yet, older drivers are still more likely to be involved in a multi-car collision than younger drivers. Research has also shown that not only do the chances of being in a car collision spike after the age of 65, but the risk of a collision becoming fatal rise at 75 as older drivers are more vulnerable to crash-related injuries and death.

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September 10, 2012

Car crash destroys the front of nearly 300 year old Marshfield Home

Brian and Patty MacKinnon will attest to the infamous perils of the length of road on South River Street that bends around a cranberry bog. Vehicular accidents have been occurring there frequently enough now to no longer surprise the Marshfield residents. Over the past three winters, the MacKinnons have lost three fences to cars sliding off the pavement and into their front yard.

And now the family two doors down from the MacKinnons, the Thayers, have their own tale of motor mayhem to share. Clifton and Dorothy Thayer, along with their son, Jonathan, were displaced from their home on an early Saturday, September 8, 2012, at around 2:47am. They were awakened to the roar of a young man and his car smashing into the left side of the house at the corner next to the roadway. The collision caused so much structural damage to the home, built in 1725, that officials declared it uninhabitable. Fire Captain Louis Cipullo described the destruction of the house as extensive and, by Sunday, the front of the residence was being held up by braces. Thankfully, the Thayers were asleep upstairs at the time of the accident, so none of them was injured.

The American Red Cross provided the Thayers with housing and emergency funds. Neighbors have said that they have been staying in Brockton and Weymouth, amongst other locations. When the MacKinnons were stirred by the crash they immediately called 911. Brian MacKinnon described the noise as a “thunderclap” and impossible to ignore. The driver sustained minor injuries but was up and on his feet though visibly upset over the incident.

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September 10, 2012

Second wrong-way driver of the weekend causes another collision

This past Sunday morning, September 9, 2012, at approximately 5:35am, a Roxbury resident was killed in a car accident at the entrance of the O’Neill tunnel in Boston. What makes this incident more unusual than a typical vehicular tragedy is that the deceased man, Idefonos Barros, was driving down the wrong way of Interstate 95, and that this was the second incident of wrong-way driving on a Massachusetts highway just this weekend.

State Police are continuing their investigation as to what caused the three-way collision. Barros was driving a 1999 Dodge Dakota south on 93 North toward the O’Neill tunnel’s entrance when he collided into a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder, according to Renee Nadeau Algarin, the deputy press secretary for the Suffolk County’s District Attorney’s office. Algarin also stated that after the initial collision, the Nissan spun out of control and struck the left side barrier. Before the collision occurred, State Police received at least one phone call about a wrong-way driver and immediately launched a search for the vehicle.

Sadly, the police were too late to catch up with Barros. And during the time when reports of the incident were first surfacing, it was unknown whether Barros was ejected from his car because of the crash or if passing drivers helped him out of his vehicle. He was eventually taken to Tufts Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Firefighters removed a 45-year old woman from the Nissan Pathfinder. She was also taken to Tufts Medical Center though her injuries were not a threat to her life. Both drivers appeared to be wearing their seatbelts. There was no indication of drugs or alcohol playing a role in the crash. And the third driver whose Ford Eagle collided with the pile-up was fortunate enough to walk away without any injuries.

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September 8, 2012

Eastbound driver on Westbound lane causes car collision and pile-up

As of late Friday night, reports were appearing on the internet about a head-on collision on the westbound lane of Interstate 90. The crash happened at around 8:30 pm on September 7, 2012, near exit 6 of the turnpike, close to mile marker 54. As authorities responded to the incident, traffic was diverted off the highway at exit 7, near Ludlow, Massachusetts, according to Trooper Kenneth Gaetz.

It had been assumed early on that the cause of the accident was a driver heading east on the westbound lane. Two other cars slammed into the first accident causing a pile up that snarled the weekend traffic. At least two people were taken by ambulance to Bay State Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts and the highway was shut down for roughly three hours. Area police and fire departments, state police crime scene and accident reconstruction units, and the State Department of Highways were all present on the scene. Authorities had gathered, but not yet confirmed, that a 2001 Honda from Connecticut was driving the wrong way down the westbound lane on the turnpike and crashed into a 1993 Subaru registered to an address in West Brookfield.

Tragically, new reports arose this morning saying that both men in the original pile up succumbed to their injuries and were pronounced at the hospital. David Procopio, spokesman for the State Police, asserted that there were other injured but he would not specify. The names of the deceased have been withheld. All that is presently known is that the man who was driving the wrong way down the westbound lane was 84 years old. The driver of the 1993 Subaru was 29. The investigation is now being overseen by Troop E of the Massachusetts State police along with the aforementioned organizations.

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September 5, 2012

Automobile collision begins with fences, ends with pool

Tom Cheffro, a resident of Malden, was watching television on Tuesday afternoon, September 5, 2012, when he heard a loud bang from his backyard. Upon rushing outside, Cheffro yells for his neighbor to call the police as he dives into his in-ground pool, in which a Chevy Impala was sinking. The scene came about so quickly that Cheffro wasn’t sure if the driver realized what was happening.

After trying but finding himself unable to open the door, Cheffro pushed the car’s window down, unbuckled the driver’s seatbelt and pulled him out of the water before he could suffer any serious injuries. Amazingly, the two then sat and joked with each other, wondering how many hits the video on YouTube would receive, as they awaited the paramedics and police.

The pool didn’t sustain any damage. The motorist was conscious and communicative as he was taken to the ambulance on a stretcher by paramedics. He’s presently in the hospital with minor injuries. Cheffro assumed that while backing into his driveway, the motorist, who is reported to be in his eighties, mistakenly stepped on the gas instead of the brake. Amazingly, nobody else had been injured as the car sped through two fences before crashing into the pool. A crane was brought in to remove the automobile.

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September 4, 2012

Hit and run between car and motorcycle leaves Everett man seriously injured

As early as 8:15am this past Sunday morning, September 2, 2012, Melrose police received alerts from civilians and fire fighters alike concerning a collision at a four-way intersection where Green and Franklin Street meet Main Street. At a red light, a sixty-one year old man from Everett on a yellow Harley motorcycle waited for the light to change with a Hyundai sedan idling behind him. When the light turned green, the Hyundai proceeded forward. But the motorcycle hadn’t yet moved.

According to witnesses and resulting police reports, the sedan struck the motorcyclist, knocking him off his vehicle. The car then backed up, rolling over the man and drove forward again, repeating this action several times. Police reports say that the motorist, Eugene Ledonne, 76, of Stoneham then got out of the car while witnesses helped the victim, walked over to the man he had just hit, said “I’m sorry,” and returned to his vehicle. Police say the driver then reversed his car several hundred yards and fled the scene.

Recordings from witness camera phones were credited with helping the police make an expeditious identification of the driver. Although it is presently unclear as to how much of the collision was caught on video. Ledonne informed the police that he was heading to work when travelling on the northbound road. He also explained that after initially striking the motorcyclist he blacked out and wasn’t able to recall anything that happened afterwards. Police however described Ledonne as being physically capable and mentally alert in their report.

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August 28, 2012

Study Suggests High-Risk Driving is Independent of Phone Use

A new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found that aggressive drivers are engaging in this risky behavior on the roadways regardless of whether or not they are using their cellphones. The news suggests that a ban on cell phone use while driving will not necessarily make our roads any safer.

The study, which was conducted by a team of MIT researchers, considered the performance of 108 “greater Boston” drivers. According to Bryan Reimer, associate director of MIT’s New England University Transportation Center, “the people who are more willing to frequently engage in cell phone use are higher-risk drivers, independent of the phone.” In addition, he notes that it is a significant—“not subtle”—difference with those “willing to pick up the phone.”

Of the participants, about half admitted to “frequent phone use” while driving, while the rest of the respondents claimed that they rarely used their phones behind the wheel. The study indicates that the overall behavior of the individual plays a bigger role than any specific habit or action. None of the individuals surveyed actually used their phones while they were observed, but those who admitted to frequent phone use “tended to drive faster, change lanes more often and spend more time in the far left lane.” Other behaviors observed in this group include rapid acceleration and slamming on the brakes. http://www.altmanllp.com/car_accidents-1226003.html

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August 27, 2012

Cyclist hit by unknown motorist

Massachusetts bears the distinction of being ranked the United States’ third most “Bicycle Friendly State” for 2012. The Bay State placed 9th in 2011, 16th in 2010, and 19th in 2009. The secretary of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Secretary Richard A. Davey, said that the state’s rising rank over the years accurately reflects the department’s commitment to providing safe and healthy transportation. Massachusetts’ climbing status as a hub for cyclists also substantiates the efforts behind the three-prong policy of the environmental initiative, GreenDOT: 1) Reduce Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) 2) Promote the healthy transportation options of walking, bicycling, and public transit, and 3) Support smart growth development.

Sadly, with all the new bike paths and community efforts to promote cycling, like Boston’s Bike Week, mishaps occasionally still lead to tragedy.

Wellesley police report that on Friday, August 24, 2012, at around 1:58pm, 41 year old cyclist Alexander Motsenigos, husband of nearly ten years and father to a six year old boy, was struck and killed near the intersection of Weston Road and Linden Street, otherwise known as Wellesley Square. Motsenigos was wearing a helmet. And neighbors have said that the point of the collision, an intersection resting at the bottom of a short but steep hill, was a dangerous place.

Lieutenant Maria Cleary confirms that both Motsenigos and the vehicle were headed north. An
investigation is underway because the vehicle sped off, possibly unaware that someone had been struck. The public is being asked to provide any information. But because there were conflicting accounts of the automobile’s make and model, the police are unable to submit a definitive description.

I drive a lot. But I’m currently looking for a good bike in the interest of diversifying my workouts and getting a little more “green.” And I’m well aware of the friction that exists between

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July 25, 2012

Traffic Fatalities Increase Significantly in First Quarter of 2012

A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that included an early estimate of motor vehicle traffic fatalities for the first quarter of 2012 has indicated a sharp increase in this figure compared with last year’s statistics. The projection estimates that 7,630 people died in motor vehicle accidents between January and March of this year. It comes amid reports from automakers that they are intensifying efforts to build cars that are safer and better-able to reduce the threats of distracted driving.

The NHTSA reports that the rise in fatalities translates to a roughly 13.5% increase from the number reported for the first quarter of 2011, which was 6,720. The NHTSA declined to include in the report any mention of contributing factors or implications of the data. However, a spokesman for the agency said, “It’s too soon to speculate…on any increase in deaths on our roadways.”

Perhaps the most puzzling part of this increase is that previous years all demonstrated a downward trend in roadway fatalities. In addition, many transportation safety officials commented that the figure is generally lowest for the first quarter of any given year, which is in large part due to the winter weather that usually accompanies those months. According to officials, the fact that this year’s winter was much warmer than usual, which meant that there were more drivers on the road than in other past years, could be a factor in the increase in fatalities.

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June 27, 2012

State Police Cruisers Struck in Two Separate Incidents

Crashes involving two State Police troopers occurred on two separate roadways in Massachusetts today. Both officers managed to avoid injury in the incidents, which took place on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Newton and on Route 24 in Randolph, according to State Police. So far, only one of the drivers is being charged.

The first crash occurred on Route 24 around 1:20 a.m. after troopers had identified someone driving the wrong way on the highway. When one tried setting up stop sticks across the roadway, his vehicle and several others were struck. In this case, the trooper was uninjured and the occupants of the other cars involved sustained only minor injuries. However, the driver charged with causing the crash was arrested for drunk driving and reckless operation of a motor vehicle and is slated to be arraigned today in Quincy District Court.

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June 18, 2012

Wareham Man Killed in Head-On Collision

Christopher Elicier, a resident of Wareham, Mass., was killed Saturday night after his vehicle was struck head-on by another vehicle traveling in the wrong direction. Elicier was traveling on Interstate 495 in Wareham late Saturday night when another motorist, Phendy Pamphile, 26, of Brockton, driving in the opposite direction collided with him at about 10:20 p.m. According to State Police, Elicier was ejected from his vehicle, a 2012 Hyundai Veloster coupe, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Pamphile sustained a serious leg injury and was trapped in his vehicle immediately following the crash. The Jaws of Life were used to remove him and he was transported to Tobey Hospital in Wareham, but he was later moved to Rhode Island Hospital. According to the hospital, Pamphile was listed in critical condition as of Sunday afternoon. Neither of the drivers was wearing a seatbelt.

Continue reading "Wareham Man Killed in Head-On Collision" »

June 13, 2012

One Month Later, an Update on Boston University Students Involved in Crash

Just over one month ago, several Boston University students studying in New Zealand were involved in a crash that killed three and injured four others. According to police, Stephen Houseman of Massapequa, N.Y. was driving the group of students in a rented minivan when he drifted to the side of the road and then rolled the van when he tried to correct course.

Houseman’s attorney had requested that he be discharged without conviction due to concerns over the impact it would have on his career, and victims supported a discharge as well, citing the fact that Houseman was sensitive to their losses. However, he ultimately pleaded guilty to all charges, including three counts of careless driving causing death and four of careless driving causing injury.

On May 12, Eastern Standard Time, he was convicted and fully discharged. The judge ruled that he was “law-abiding” but “lost vigilance on the road.” He received no jail time but was ordered to pay court costs and barred from driving in New Zealand for six months, according to a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice.

Continue reading "One Month Later, an Update on Boston University Students Involved in Crash" »

May 25, 2012

Five Taken to Hospital after School Van Crashes in Chelmsford

A school van carrying special-needs students was involved in a crash Wednesday afternoon in Chelmsford, MA. Police arrived promptly at the scene of the accident, which occurred at the Drum Hill Square rotary shortly after 3 p.m., but stated that the cause was not immediately known. However, they believe one of the vehicles may have run a red light.

The van was carrying two special-needs students, reportedly from the nearby Lighthouse School in Chelmsford, and the car with which it collided was carrying two teenagers. All were taken to nearby hospitals for precautionary reasons, Chelmsford police Lieutenant Jim Spinney said, though their injuries were thought to be minor.

Rotaries, despite being designed to improve traffic flow and reduce vehicle crashes, have come under criticism in Massachusetts as being poorly designed and accident-prone. A study of 23 rotaries, done by Ryerson Polytechnic University and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, found that they can reduce fatal accidents by 90 percent and all accidents by 40 percent. However, New England's traffic circles, most of which were implemented to accommodate higher volumes of traffic, are larger and more dangerous than modern roundabouts. Of the roughly 100 rotaries in Massachusetts, 17 appear on MassHighway’s list of the 1,000 Most Hazardous Intersections.

Continue reading "Five Taken to Hospital after School Van Crashes in Chelmsford" »

March 18, 2012

Boston is 3rd on Safe Driver List, Survey Reports

I know—we couldn’t believe it either. Haven’t most of us been nearly hit by a crazy driver zooming ahead on the narrow, winding Boston streets? Or witnessed such a driver? Or been that driver himself? In a shocking a recent survey from Men’s Health magazine, Boston was ranked third out of 100 cities in the U.S. with the least dangerous drivers. If this is the case, pondering the drivers in other cities is a scary thought.

The least “crash-prone” city was St. Paul, Minnesota, and second-place was awarded to Lincoln, Nebraska. Providence, Rhode Island, was ranked 95 on the list.

Men’s Health apparently came to their conclusions via a combined calculation of the following statistics: rate of fatal crashes, percentage of deaths involving alcohol, speeding or hit-and-run, rate of seat belt use, cell phone laws while driving, and number of years between accidents.

Some speculation is that Boston drivers are simply accustomed to tough driving conditions—including those notorious Boston jaywalkers.

Boston ranks high on safe-drivers list, March 15, 2012, Boston.com.

March 6, 2012

Truck Rollover in Freetown, MA Injures Two

A tractor trailer rollover around 5:30pm on Monday night in Freetown, MA—located about 12 miles from Fall River—seriously injured the trailer driver and left the driver of a second vehicle with minor injuries. The truck driver was traveling on Route 24 Southbound near Exit 8 and had been carrying seafood. It apparently tipped over and landed on the dividing guard-rails across the highway median. The driver of the second vehicle, a 2001 Honda accord, thankfully escaped with minor injuries, but his car had to be dug out from the wood with special equipment.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rollover accidents have a higher fatality rate than other types of crashes—accounting for about 33% of all passenger vehicle fatalities.Although convenient, tractor trailers, like the one involved in this accident, may be more prone to rollovers due to their height. Tall vehicles (trucks, buses, vans) have a high center of gravity, lessening their stability, and speeding, sudden turns, and bad weather can lessen their stability ever further. Other causes of rollovers may be driver fatigue, equipment failure, or negligent maintenance of the vehicle.

The cause of the Freetown accident is still unknown. However, there have been no reports of speeding or other foul play.

According to news reports, last November (2011), a rollover also occurred in Freetown on Route 24, resulting in the death of a 22-year-old woman.

State Police say man seriously hurt, another suffered minor injuries in 2-car Route 24 crash, HeraldNews.com, March 5, 2012

2 injured in Rt. 24 rollover crash, WPRI.com, March 6, 2012

Truck driver seriously injured in Freetown crash, myfoxboston.com, March 5, 2012

February 29, 2012

Three-vehicle Weymouth accident at Mobile station sends 3 to hospital

An unusual accident this morning in Weymouth involved a chain reaction of three cars near the intersection of Middle Street and Main Street, sending three individuals to the hospital. The chain reaction sparked off when one vehicle hit a Toyota from behind; this pushed the Toyota into a gas pump at the Mobile Station. In turn, the gas pump was knocked on top of a man pumping gas into his van. The man had to be freed from the pump. No reports of the magnitude of their injuries are currently available. Fortunately, no gasoline was released from the pump when it fell.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, it is advisable to (1) seek immediate medical car, regardless of the extent of your injuries; and (2) seek legal assistance in obtaining compensation for your injuries.

Three hurt in accident at Weymouth gas station, PatriotLedger.com, February 29, 2012

February 16, 2012

High Speed Danvers Car Crash Results in Death of a Peabody Man

According to State Police, a 30-year-old Peabody man was killed in a car crash on Route 128 in Danvers due to high speed. Police report that Reginaldo Dasilva Souza was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash and his passenger was seriously injured. At approximately 8 p.m. on February 5, troopers from the Danvers State Police Barracks responded to reports of a single-car crash on Route 128 southbound at Route 35. The preliminary investigation revealed that Souza`s 1991 Honda Accord was traveling at a high speed when it crashed into a guardrail before veering across two lanes, hit a jersey barrier, and then continued onto a ramp to Route 35 and then crashed into two other jersey barriers. Police reported that the impact of the crash not only knocked over the jersey barriers but resulted in the car to roll over onto its roof where it finally came to rest. Although Souza was wearing his seatbelt, his passenger, Sidney Gomes Dasilva, 37, was not wearing his safety belt and was taken with serious life-threatening injuries by medical helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital.

Section 13A, Chapter 90, of the Commonwealth´s General Laws, states that all occupants of motor vehicles in a private vehicle, including vans and trucks, are required to be properly restrained by a seatbelt: “No person shall operate a private passenger motor vehicle or ride in a private passenger motor vehicle, a vanpool vehicle or truck under eighteen thousand pounds on any way unless such person is wearing a safety belt which is properly adjusted and fastened.”

The investigation continues and is being carried out by Troop A of the Massachusetts State Police, along with the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, and the State Police Crime Scene Services Section. State Troopers were assisted at the scene of the crash by the Danvers police, fire, and EMS departments.

In a statement, police said: "The facts and circumstances of the crash remain under investigation; preliminary evidence suggests that excessive speed was a factor, and troopers are additionally investigating whether alcohol was a factor."

Although the circumstances and exact cause of the accident are still under investigation, possible inebriation along high speed are potential factors. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in 2006 alone, 17,941 people died because of alcohol-related collisions in the United States.

If you or your loved one has been involved in a road accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Sources:

Peabody man dies in Danvers car crash last night, www.boston.com, February 6, 2012

Commonwealth´s General Laws, Section 13A, Chapter 90

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February 15, 2012

Elderly Driver Hits Three Pedestrians in Concord

Concord Police report that an elderly Westford woman was driving last Saturday morning to a dialysis appointment in Concord when she turned from Commonwealth Avenue onto Winthrop Street and struck three pedestrians. The victims were a mother with two of her children who were out for a walk. The mother was reportedly pushing her 20-month-old son in a stroller and her five-year-old son was riding his bicycle next to them. Police report that after the woman´s vehicle, a 1999 Toyota Camry, turned the corner and hit the pedestrians, it continued to drive across Winthrop Street and onto a home´s lawn and did not stop until it crashed into a garage.

At approximately 9 a.m., Concord Police and Fire Departments responded to the area for a report of a pedestrian accident. Concord Police Lieutenant Tom Mulcahy commented, “When responders arrived at the scene they treated a mother and her two children as well as the driver of the vehicle.”

The three pedestrians, as well as the driver, were transported to Emerson Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. According to Mulcahy, the 20-month-old boy was transported by MedFlight helicopter to Children’s Hospital Boston with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

The accident is remains under investigation by the Concord Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police Reconstruction Team. Speed has been ruled out as a factor as the cause of the crash. It is not yet known whether or not the elderly driver will face charges.
Statistics show that in the next 20 years, the number of elderly drivers is predicted to triple in the United States and that older drivers are more likely than younger ones to be involved in pedestrian accidents, especially at intersections. The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that “In 1997, older people made up 9 percent of the resident population but accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities and 17 percent of all pedestrian fatalities.”

If you have been involved in a Massachusetts pedestrian accident or car accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced a Massachusetts car accident lawyer.

Sources:

Elderly Driver Hits Mother, 2 Children In Concord, CBS Boston, February 4, 2012

Four people hospitalized after pedestrian crash in Concord, Wicked Local Concord, February 4, 2012

Older Drivers, Elderly Driving, Seniors at the Wheel, Traffic and Safety, SmartMotorist.com

Traffic Safety Facts 1997; Older Population, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation

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January 17, 2012

Peabody Teenager Charged With OUI After Crashing Into House

After an extensive investigation, a Peabody teenager whose car crashed into a house last month has recently been arraigned for driving under the influence of alcohol. As reported in Peabody Teenager Survives After Crashing into House and Catching Fire, Robert Habeeb, Jr.’s car exploded into flames after it crashed into a house . Firefighters were able to pull him from the burning sedan at approximately 2:30 a.m. on December 11. Habeeb was not seriously injured in the crash despite the crashes´ severity. He has pleaded not guilty to five charges, including operating under the influence of alcohol and reckless operation of a motor vehicle in the Peabody District Court. The 18-year-old Peabody High senior was additionally charged with negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to yield, and failure to have an inspection sticker.

According to papers that were filed in court, a blood sample taken in the hospital after the crash revealed that Habeeb’s blood alcohol level was two-and-a-half times the legal limit. The State Police Lab sent the blood results to the Peabody Police Department last Wednesday. Before this more serious finding, Habeeb was issued a criminal motor vehicle citation after the accident for operating a motor vehicle recklessly so as to endanger. The records also revealed that Habeeb was traveling 109 miles per hour five seconds before the crash.

Peabody Police formally summonsed Habeeb with the charges filed against him this week while he was at school, including the operating under the influence of alcohol charge. Richard Chambers, Jr., Habeeb´s Lynnfield-based attorney, said that defendants are usually sent a summons in the mail at least two weeks in advance. Both Habeeb and his lawyer declined to say if he drinking or what his activities were on the night of the crash. He was not given a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer test on the night of the crash.

A spokeswoman for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett's office, Carrie Kimball Monahan, said that there is not a standard procedure to summon a defendant to court in Essex County. She said, “In this case charges were sought yesterday and the clerk issued an arraignment for today so he was served…It had to be done.”

Peabody Police spokesman Michael Crane said “An extensive investigation was conducted, the charges were filed accordingly based on the investigation.” He said that the Peabody Police led the investigation and worked together with members of the Massachusetts State Police Accident Reconstruction Team.

In a separate hearing after the arraignment, Judge Richard Mori ordered Habeeb not to consume any alcohol while the case is pending and he must take random alcohol tests. He must also adhere to an 8 p.m. curfew while the case is pending. Mori also ordered him to turn in his license to the court despite the fact that the Registry of Motor Vehicles has already suspended Habeeb’s driver’s license.

If you have been involved in a road accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Source:

Peabody teen charged with OUI in crash at Herrick Road home , www.boston.com, January 11, 2012

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January 10, 2012

Recent Accidents Spark Seatbelt Enforcement Debate in Massachusetts

Recent car crashes in December involving drivers or passengers not wearing seatbelts has resulted in a strong response from seatbelt advocates. Advocates are calling for stricter enforcement of the state’s seat belt law after these car crashes, many of which ended fatally. They are arguing that this is more than enough evidence that seatbelts save lives and they are calling on lawmakers to act in the New Year.

Massachusetts law already requires drivers and passengers to wear seat belts; however, police can only enforce the rule if they have stopped the vehicle for another violation, such as running a red light or speeding. Senator Patricia Jehlen, D-Somerville, and Representative Patricia Haddad, D-Somerset, are the chief sponsors of a bill that would make Massachusetts the 32nd state in the nation to let police pull over drivers for seat belt violations.

A recent UMass-Amherst study found that approximately 73 percent of Massachusetts drivers use seat belts, which is the lowest seatbelt usage rate in the United States and has thus sparked this debate. This number is also slightly lower than last year´s percentage of seatbelt users. All of the accident victims of the four accidents that occurred in December were young adults. Deborah Pentecost, a trauma program manager at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, witnesses the flux of young victims entered into the emergency room who were not wearing seatbelts and believes that the message must also come from education. She commented “It’s the younger population that takes the risks…I think we’ve gotten the message to adults that have kids…and the population over 50.”

Mary Maguire, a spokeswoman for AAA Southern New England and co-chairwoman of Belts Ensure a Safer Tomorrow (BEST), a coalition of about 60 health, law enforcement and driver-safety groups, said “When there’s stronger, more effective enforcement, compliance increases.” BEST estimates that a stricter seat belt law could save Massachusetts approximately $1 billion over six years, because of avoided hospital bills, lower insurance premiums, and eligibility for federal grants.

The legislation to update the seatbelt law died in a tie vote in the House in 2004. In 2006, a similar bill passed both chambers in 2006, but was later shot down in a procedural vote in the House when three representatives changed their votes. Robert Fitzpatrick, Senator Jehlen’s chief of staff, said “We think we have the votes in the Senate…(In the House) it’s hard to know.”

Opponents to the bill, such as civil liberty groups, argue that the stricter seat belt law could give the opportunity to police to easily abuse the law by making unnecessary traffic stops or as an excuse for racial profiling.

If you have been involved in a road accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Sources:

Groups calling for tougher seat belt laws, Taunton Daily Gazette, January 5, 2012

Update sought on Massachusetts seat belt law, The Patriot Ledger, January 3, 2012

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December 26, 2011

Peabody Teenager Survives After Crashing into House and Catching Fire

After a teenage driver crashed his vehicle into a Peabody home last week, the car flipped onto its side, burst into flames, and the engine detached onto the front lawn. Robert Habeeb, Jr. 18, of Peabody, was reportedly returning home from hanging out with his peers at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning when the accident occurred. The vehicle first hit a tree stump, then a stone wall which sent the car into the air, and then into a house on Herrick Road, which caused both the car and house to catch fire. The owners of the house were not home when the accident occured but the damage to the house has been estimated at approximately $50,000.
Firefighters were said to have had to climb on top of the overturned vehicle as it was still burning to look for the driver. He was released from Massachusetts General Hospital with only relatively minor injuries including a bruised pelvis, back pain, a bump on his head, and burns on his knuckles.

The teenager´s father, Robert Habeeb said, "He fell asleep driving home…He doesn't remember anything…I just want to thank the Peabody Fire Department and Police Department for finding Robert and pulling him out of the car and saving his life…When I think of what might have happened if they'd come a minute later ..."

Peabody fire Capt. Dale Kimball recalled the scene of the accident as the most horrible he'd ever seen in more than a decade as a firefighter. A witness, neighbor Charles Annino, called his mere survival a miracle. The teenager´s father agreed and said "If you saw the car, you would think that, too…The tow-truck people said it was the worst wreck they'd ever picked up." Family members have mentioned that the teen is looking forward to thanking the firefighters who rescued him.

Police Spokesman Michael Crane said that the investigation is open but they had not filed charges against Habeeb. Crane did not confirm if chargers could be filed at a later date. Peabody police have not involved the state police accident reconstruction team.

If you have been involved in a road accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Sources:

Driver saved from burning car is home from hospital, The Salem News, December 13, 2011

Peabody teen whose car hit house released from hospital
, www.boston.com, December 13, 2011

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December 12, 2011

Peabody Police Hit as a Pedestrian

A Peabody police officer was seriously injured this week when he was hit while working a paid detail at a construction site on Route 1 in Peabody. Sergeant Eric Zawacki, 37, was standing next to his police cruiser when a driver of a black Chevrolet Avalanche stopped and asked the officer for directions. A 1991 red Chevrolet pick-up truck driven by Elroy Halfrey, 76, of Salem, N.H., then hit both Zawacki as a pedestrian and crashed into the truck that was pulled over for directions, causing both a pedestrian accident and a two-car crash. Zawacki was thrown over the hood of the truck. He was taken Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston where he remains in critical condition.

David Procopio, Massachusetts police spokesperson, confirmed that he had surgery for his serious injuries and is expected to survive. Massachusetts General Public Affairs Officer Kory Dodd reported that Zawacki was in serious condition and that his "vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. The patient is acutely ill."

After the crash, Halfrey remained at the scene of the accident. Although the accident is still under investigation, police commented that the wet roads and the driver´s speed were each potential factors of the accident. State Police Lieutenant Tracy Webber said, “It’s still a preliminary investigation…Because it’s an active work zone, that is a contributing factor too. The roadway was wet, that comes into play.’’ She said police will determine if the driver of the red pickup truck will be charged.

Peabody Police Detective Michael Crane said that although no charges have yet been filed against the suspect, he said “I’m sure once they are done with [the State Police investigation] if a citation is required they will process that accordingly.”

If you have been involved in a Massachusetts pedestrian or car accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced a Massachusetts car accident lawyer.

Sources:

Peabody police sergeant struck, seriously injured by vehicle on Route 1, www.boston.com, December 5, 2011

Peabody officer working detail hit by car, seriously injured, The Boston Herald , December 5, 2011

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November 30, 2011

Motorists Encouraged to Remain in Vehicles After an Accident Following Multiple Massachusetts Highway Fatalities

After a series of deaths in which drivers have stepped out of their vehicles on Massachusetts highways, Massachusetts State Police are reminding drivers to always remain in their vehicles after an accident until police arrive. After these three recent accidents, all of which appear to have initially been minor auto accidents, three people have died as a result of exiting their vehicles and stepping out into traffic. The first of these three incidents occurred on Friday morning, when a 75-year-old Somerville man was struck and killed in the Tip O'Neill Tunnel in Boston. Before hit by oncoming traffic, David Dang was reportedly standing in the traffic lane when he got out of his car after what seems to have been a minor car accident.

Just a few hours later, two other motorists were hit after getting out of their car in Lynnfield, just fifteen miles north of Boston. State Police report that a 2000 Saturn SL2 sedan had halted in the median on the southbound side of Route 128, at approximately 11:45 p.m. Two of the four occupants of the vehicle then exited the car and were standing in the travel lane when they were both hit by a vehicle. Police said Conner Toscano, 18, of Billerica was pronounced dead at the scene and 17-year-old Billerica woman was severely injured. She was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

At approximately 1:15 a.m. on Saturday morning, Massachusetts State Police responded to yet another similar accident in Lancaster. On Route 190 northbound, just north of Exit 7, authorities reported that a 2005 Toyota Camry had hit the guardrail and was disabled in the median. The driver, Scott Symonds, 38, of West Boylston, then exited his vehicle and was hit by a 2006 Ford pickup truck driven by Eric Sifert, 42, of Westminster. Symonds was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

David Procopio, spokesperson for the state police, said "The crash remains under investigation to determine if any charges are warranted…The investigation is being conducted by Troop C of the Massachusetts State Police, along with the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section and the State Police Crime Scene Services Section."

Each of these highway-related fatalities involving people getting out of vehicles remain under investigation by Massachusetts State Police. State police are reminding motorists in disabled cars to try to get their vehicles out of the road immediately following an accident and to stay in their cars until police arrive at the scene of a reported crash.

If you have been involved in a Massachusetts car accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced a Massachusetts car accident lawyer.

Sources:

2 Killed Standing On Highways, www.thebostonchannel.com, November 27, 2011

Massachusetts man killed on highway after exiting vehicle following minor crash, www.MassLive.com, November 26, 2011

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November 28, 2011

General Motors Questioned After Electric Vehicle Catches Fire

General Motors Company has recently announced that they are developing a way to discharge the battery in Chevrolet Volts to prevent the battery from causing car fires after car crashes. This announcement comes after the Volt was crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and subsequently caught fire three weeks later, causing skepticism over safety of the electric vehicle.

Rob Peterson, a GM spokesman, said that GM is currently working with the NHTSA and will announce their safety procedures as soon as they are finished. Peterson said “We had a process internally but I don’t believe it was shared with anyone…The incident with NHTSA raised awareness that we had to develop a procedure and alert all stakeholders.” The executive director of the Center for Auto Safety in Washington, Clarence Ditlow, said “I can’t conceive that they didn’t have a standard operating procedure in place for handling a wrecked vehicle before the car went on sale…NHTSA and GM should have established protocols in place before it went on sale.” Although The Volt´s counterpart, the Nissan Leaf, had already developed and established a safety plan by the time both cars were released for sale in December 2010. Additionally, Nissan´s Leaf has a protective steel case around its battery to protect the battery from puncture, unlike the Volt.

GM believes that a coolant leak carried an electrical charge to a flammable material inside the battery. When a lithium battery is punctured by steel, a chemical reaction will raise the temperature and could potentially cause a fire. GM’s chief engineer for electric cars, Jim Federico, said that GM´s new technology reduces power in the battery so it won’t catch on fire after a collision. He said “The fire occurred because the battery wasn’t completely discharged after the test…GM developed its battery depowering process for the Volt after NHTSA’s test.”
GM previously had a process to discharge the Volt batteries but the automaker did not distribute the training to tow truck drivers, body shops, salvage yards and others who may handle or be in contact with the car after emergency personnel had finished working at the scene of an accident. The company was individually sending out engineers to check any Volt that got in an accident. If it was necessary, they would discharge the battery.

Although the NHTSA confirmed that it did not believe the Volt or any other electric vehicles are at higher risk for fires than gasoline engines, the NHTSA is currently examining the safety of lithium-ion batteries that power all electric vehicles. NHTSA is asking all automakers that sell lithium-ion powered vehicles or will sell in the future, about the batteries´ safety and potential fire risk.

If you have been involved in a Massachusetts car accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced a Massachusetts car accident lawyer.

Sources:

U.S. probes EV batteries after Chevy Volt fire, Reuters, November 11, 2011

GM Seeks Ways to Discharge Volt Batteries Following Car Crashes, Bloomberg News, November 17, 2011

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November 16, 2011

Stolen Car Crash

Massachusetts and Connecticut police report that three teens have been hospitalized and remain in serious condition after they stole a car from Connecticut and crashed in Massachusetts. Early Friday morning, the three teenagers stole a gray Dodge Sebring from Grosvenor Dale, Connecticut. Connecticut State Police notified Massachusetts State Police that they were chasing the stolen vehicle on Route 395 North near the Massachusetts state line in Webster. A Massachusetts police officer, Ronald Tetreau Jr., was parked on the side of the road, and soon saw the car speeding over 100 miles per hour in Douglas. The officer attempted to follow the vehicle but temporary lost sight of the speeding vehicle. Officer Tetreau then came upon the vehicle´s debris on Webster Street, also known as Route 16. The vehicle had hit a fence, a utility pole, and rolled over several times.

The two occupants who were seated in the front of the car had been thrown from the vehicle. A 15-year-old from Putnam, Connecticut, was driving, police said. A 16-year-boy from Dudley, Massachusetts was in the front passenger and was also seriously injured. A 16-year-old female passenger was sitting in the back seat and had to be extricated from the vehicle. Police have identified the female passenger as Skyelynn Mathieu of Ware, Massachusetts, but have not released the identities of the two males in the vehicle. All three victims were taken to University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center, University Campus in Worcester, where they remain in critical condition.

Authorities found stolen property in the vehicle and charges could potentially be filed when the investigation is complete.

Police Chief Patrick T. Foley said that the crash is under investigation. Douglas Police are working with Connecticut State Police, and the Central Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council Crash Reconstruction Unit and the District Attorney’s Office are also investigating.

If you have been involved in a car accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Sources:

Teens remain hospitalized from stolen car crash, Worcester Telegram, November 14, 2011

3 Teens Hurt in 100 MPH Crash, NBC Connecticut, November 11, 2011

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October 25, 2011

Vehicle to Vehicle Communication, The Future of Preventing Accidents

New wireless technology enables communication between vehicles that has the potential to improve safety and to help drivers avoid car accidents. At a recent research clinic hosted by the Department of Transportation at Walt Disney World® SPEEDWAY in Orlando last week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, "Thanks to the efforts of automakers and the safety community traffic fatalities have reached historic lows. Despite these great strides though, more than 32,000 people are still killed on our nation's roads every year. That's why we must remain vigilant in our effort to improve safety…This research should bring us a step closer to what could be the next major safety breakthrough."

Research by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that connected vehicle technology could potentially decrease approximately 80 percent of vehicle crashes involving non-impaired drivers. The research shows that such technology could help to prevent many types of crashes that typically occur in the real world such as crashes at intersections or during lanes changes.
The "Driver Acceptance Clinic" is one of many that will eventually be held across the nation in order to evaluate cars equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle communications systems in a controlled environment where researchers can observe drivers' responses to audible warnings. The in-car collision warnings for the drivers include messages such as "do not pass", alerts that a vehicle has suddenly stopped ahead, and other similar safety warnings.

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said, "With its potential to save lives and prevent injuries, connected vehicle technology could be a real game-changer for vehicle safety…These clinics are vital to understanding how drivers will respond to the technology and how connected vehicles communicate in real world scenarios."

These driver clinics are the first of a two-phased research program jointly developed by the Department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Research, the Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Driver response clinics have already been held in Michigan and Minnesota. Future clinics are planned for Virginia, California, and Texas before January 2012. Following the driver clinic programs, the Department of Transportation will launch 3,000 vehicles with communication technology to continue testing from the summer of 2012 through the summer of 2013. These vehicles will operate on roads in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and will test a limited number of vehicle-to-infrastructure applications in addition to continuing the research on vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems.

The information collected from both phases of the research will be used by NHTSA to determine by 2013 whether to continue with additional vehicle-to-vehicle communications and to determine possible future laws.

Although this is an important step for the future, car accidents still happen today. If you have been involved in a Massachusetts car accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced a Massachusetts car accident lawyer.

Source:

U.S. Department of Transportation Hosts Research Clinic to Test 'Connected Vehicle Technology' , NHTSA Press Release, October 19, 2011

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October 12, 2011

Man Held on $20,000 Bail for Causing Crash and Fatalities in Worcester

Two young men were killed early on Sunday morning in a Worcester car accident when another vehicle slammed into them. Robert J. Curran, 22, was allegedly driving between 80 to 100 mph at approximately 2 a.m. when he crashed his vehicle into a 2005 blue Acura driven by 18-year-old Andres Guzman. Both Guzman and his passenger, 19-year-old Joel Rodriguez, died at the scene of the accident. Jesus Molina, 19, another passenger in Guzman’s car, was seriously injured and remains in critical condition at UMass Memorial Medical Center — University Campus. The identity and condition of a male passenger in Curran's car was not released.

According to State Registry of Motor Vehicle records, Curran has had a number of driving offenses since 2005 and his license was suspended at the time of the accident.

Curran also allegedly left the scene of the accident after briefly speaking to a paramedic about chest pain. The paramedic reportedly briefly helped another accident victim, and turned back to Curran but he was gone. The paramedic was later able to identify Curran at a police station from an array of photos. According to court records, Curran first went to Harrington HealthCare at Hubbard in Webster where he told hospital staff that he was hurt in a bar fight. He was later transferred to UMass Memorial Medical Center—University Campus where he is currently being treated for his injuries.

During his arraignment this week at the hospital, Assistant District Attorney Brett F. Dillon detailed the allegations and asked that Curran be held on $100,000 cash bail. Dillon said, “Mr. Curran's operation of that vehicle was reckless to say the least…Witnesses have him going between 80 to 100 miles per hour and colliding with these young men.”

Andrea Levy, Defense lawyer for Curran, said her client has no convictions on his record and asked that her client be released on personal recognizance.

Judge Margaret Guzman ordered that Curran be held on $20,000 cash bail and continued his case to November 8. She charged him with two counts of motor vehicle homicide by negligent driving, two counts of leaving the scene of an accident after causing death, negligent driving, leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury, speeding, leaving the scene after causing property damage and driving with a suspended license. Curran pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him.

If you have been involved in a road accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Source:

Driver in double fatality is held on $20,000 bail, www.Telegram.com, October 11, 2011

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September 28, 2011

Driver in Head-On Collision Pleads Guilty to Driving to Endanger

Danielle Morin, a 23-year-old woman, was given a suspended jail sentence and probation after pleading guilty to causing a March head-on collision in Attleboro. In the Attleboro District Court, Morin was given a two-year jail sentence, which was suspended for two years with probation by Judge Daniel O'Shea after she had pleaded guilty to driving to endanger.

The March 5 head-on collision occurred around 9:30 p.m., when a passenger in the rear seat of Morin's car allegedly put her hands over Morin's eyes, which caused her to lose control of the car and crash into an oncoming car. The passenger, Latoya Garnes, 26, who allegedly covered Morin's eyes, is scheduled to face trial on October 5. She pleaded innocent to assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, being disorderly, possession of an open container of alcohol and malicious damage. Police found a bottle of vodka, an open bottle of whiskey and a can of beer in the back seat of the vehicle. Morin, the driver, did not have alcohol on her breath and was not charged with drunken driving, according to court records. Morin was found responsible on civil charges of failing to drive within marked lanes and driving with an open container of alcohol, which were filed by the court.

O'Shea additionally ordered Morin to attend the Brains at Risk Program, which is a program to promote awareness about traumatic brain injuries and promote responsible driving. The Brian Injury Association of Massachusetts uses video, graphics, and group discussions as learning tools to demonstrate the importance of choices made by drivers and the potential impact of irresponsible driving.

The accident injured all three people in the other car. Jessica Coburn, 32, of Attleboro, and her 13-year-old daughter Janessa suffered from serious injuries while Scott Wilkins, 38, of Attleboro, had an arm injury. Coburn spent approximately a month in the hospital and another three months in a wheelchair from hip, leg and chest injuries.

If you have been involved in a road accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Source:

Driver pleads guilty to causing head-on crash, The Sun Chronicle, September 28, 2011

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September 23, 2011

Lynn Man Dies After Windshield Hit by Wheel

An accident is under investigation in which a 27-year-old man from Lynn died on Monday after a heavy-duty tire/wheel assembly had loosened from a flatbed truck and crashed into his windshield on Interstate 93 in Somerville. State Police spokesman David Procopio said that the flatbed truck was going south on I-93 from when one of four tires came loose from a single strap on the bed of the truck. The tire assembly, weighing approximately 400 pounds, bounced over the median into northbound traffic and subsequently crashed into the windshield of Joseph LeBlanc´s 2003 Mitsubishi Galant. After being hit by the tire, the car continued northbound before it crashed into the median wall and became jammed in between two sections of the retaining wall. Rescue crews used the “jaws of life” to remove the driver. He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The vehicle was registered to Ryder Truck in Braintree and was being leased by Sullivan Tire, according to State Police. The tire/wheel assembly was one of four being hauled by Sullivan Tire and was reportedly taking the tire assemblies to a customer. The tires had a tire fill material in them, making them even heavier in an attempt to weigh them down.

The truck driver, Gregory Ross, 62, of Merrimack, N.H., reportedly noticed a strap flapping around and came to a stop as soon as he could. He said: “We had tires strapped on the back of the truck…The pallet they were sitting on broke. So naturally the strap loosened up and they started falling off…I noticed in the review mirrors, naturally, that the strap was flapping and another tire was about to come off.”

Procopio said that no charges have been filed but police are continuing their investigation in order to determine if anyone involved in the crash should receive charges.

If you have been injured in a Massachusetts car accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer.

Sources:

Man Killed After Loose Tire Smashes Car, TheBostonChannel.com, September 19, 2011

Lynn man, 27, dies after tire from truck strikes car on I-93, Boston Globe, September 20, 2011

Merrimack man drove truck involved in fatal I-93 crash in Mass., police say , Nashua Telegraph, September 21, 2011

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September 16, 2011

Woman Charged for Fatal Crash in Stoughton Held on $100,000 Bail

A Bridgewater woman has been charged with drunken driving in a crash last weekend that killed an Easton woman. Patricia Neville-Colp, 48, was arraigned on September 12 in the Stoughton District Court for motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of alcohol and drugs, for leaving the scene of an accident, and for 7 other related charges. Her cash bail was set at $100,000, which was ten times higher than the bail sought by prosecutors. Such a high bail is an example of lawmakers´ recent attempts to crackdown on repeat dangerous drivers.

Neville-Colp’s state driving record revealed seven surchargeable accidents. Under Massachusetts law, a driver may incur a surcharge for any of the following reasons:

• pays the fine assessed
• is found guilty or responsible by the court
• is assigned by the court to a driver alcohol education program or a controlled substance abuse treatment or rehabilitation program
• defaults on the citation by failing to pay the assessed fine or attending the hearing

Three of these surcharges occurred within the past five years and Neville-Colp received four speeding fines since 1982.

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), who is responsible for last month´s bill to toughen penalties for repeat dangerous drivers, said “We have to have some system in place that recognizes the cumulative nature of these offenses — and today we don’t…With each passing day, we see more tragedy on the roadway of the commonwealth, and we need to address it.”

State police report that Neville-Colp’s Jeep Grand Cherokee smashed into the side of a Kia Sportage just after 11 p.m. Saturday on Route 24. Kia passenger Maureen O’Brien Ellis, 57, of Easton was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Kia, Steven H. Cadoff, 64, and passenger Martha A. Cadoff, 63, were hospitalized with injuries.

State police reported that Neville-Colp was obviously intoxicated when they pulled her over on Route 25. Trooper Brian Berry reported: “Her eyes were bloodshot and glassy…Her speech was slurred and thick-tongued.” Neville-Colp first told police she was coming from work but then later admitted she had been drinking at a local bar. State troopers also reportedly found 17 marijuana cigarettes and a bottle of pills in her car.

If you have been involved in a road accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Sources:

High bail set for Mass. woman in fatal car crash, Boston Globe, September 12, 2011

Crackdown urged after deadly crash, The Boston Herald, September 12, 2011

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September 9, 2011

Wheel Separates from Vehicle and Causes Fatal Accident in Warren

Authorities are investigating a fatal car crash in Warren on the Massachusetts Turnpike that killed a woman from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on September 2. Police report that 62-year-old Kathleen Meats died after her left rear wheel had dislodged from her vehicle which caused her to lose control of her car. Her vehicle hit a guardrail, spun out of control, and crashed into an embankment.

Kathleen Meats was taken to the Palmer Wing Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead. Meats´ 24-year-old daughter, Kathleena Meats, was a passenger in the vehicle and was wearing her seatbelt. She was also taken to the Palmer Wing Memorial Hospital and is reported to have suffered minor injuries from the accident.

The accident remains under investigation with the assistance of the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section and the State Police Crime Scene Services Section. State Troopers were assisted at the scene of the accident by the Warren and Brimfield Fire Departments and the Department of Transportation Highway Division.

Although the details of this accident are still under investigation, this accident could potentially be a defective products case as the tire was possibly defective or not properly attached to the vehicle. Investigators would need to know whether or not Meats´ vehicle had any recent tire maintenance.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that seatbelts save over 13,000 lives per year. The NHTSA provides the following tips on the importance of seatbelt safety:

• Wearing a seatbelt is the best way to protect yourself in an accident
• Airbags do not replace seatbelts
• To buckle-up correctly, the lap belt and shoulder belt should be secure across the pelvis and rib cage
• Everyone should wear a seatbelt despite age or condition. Pregnant women, obese, and elderly, can all effectively buckle-up safely.

If you have been injured in a Massachusetts car accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer.

Sources:

NH woman dies in Mass. car crash, Boston Herald, September 3, 2011

Massachusetts turnpike crash in Warren claims life of Kathleen Meats, 62, of Portsmouth, NH, MassLive.com, September 2, 2011

Woman killed when tire comes off on Mass. Pike, Worcester Telegram, September 3, 2011

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August 18, 2011

Summer Traffic Woes Continue, Cross-country Drive Turns Fatal

A mother from Massachusetts was driving her six children from Massachusetts to the West Coast for a family gathering when she lost control of her vehicleearly in the morning on August 2nd in Beaver Creek, Minnesota. Pamela Roper, a 43-year-old mother from Massachusetts, admitted to falling asleep at the wheel around 4 a.m. near Exit 5 on Interstate 90. Minnesota State Patrol established that the vehicle went off of the road, through a ditch, and hit an embankment.

Her 14-year-old teenage son, Daniel Davis, was pronounced deceased at the scene of the accident. He was not wearing his seatbelt. Roper and three of her other children were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Their ages are 11, 9, and 7. Two of her other children were treated at the scene of the accident, aged 19 and 4.

Minnesota State Patrol commented that the accident was "a sad reminder of the dangers on the road". Minnesota State Patrol Captain Brian West confirmed that in addition to Roper feeling fatigued, not everyone, including the teenager, was wearing their seatbelt. He commented that wearing a seatbelt on the interstate is especially important: "If you are, you're going to survive that crash…If you're not, especially at highway speeds like 70 miles per hour, your chances of death or serious injury are significantly increased." Despite the fact that this portion of the interstate does not have frequent traffic, many accidents occur in this rural area. "A majority of the crashes that occur in Minnesota that result in fatalities occur in rural Minnesota…So, even though we may not always have a lot of traffic, some people may think there's no need for the belt because it appears to be safer roadways," said West.

Roper has been released from the hospital but her three children remain in critical condition.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that seatbelts save over 13,000 lives per year. The NHTSA provides the following tips on the importance of seatbelt safety:

• Wearing your seatbelt is the best way to protect yourself in an accident
• Airbags do not replace seatbelts
• To buckle-up correctly, the lap belt and shoulder belt should be secure across the pelvis and rib cage
• In order for a seatbelt to work correctly, it must fit correctly; belt extenders or new shoulder belts are available from car dealers and manufacturers.
• Everyone should wear a seatbelt despite age or condition. Pregnant women, obese, and eldery, can all effectively buckle-up safely.

The NHTSA also advises frequent or potentially fatigued drivers with the following:

• Do not start your journey tired.
• Do not continue to drive if you become tired. Pull over to a safe stop as soon as possible.
• For long drives, plan at least 15-minute breaks every two hours.
• Opening the window for fresh air or turning up the radio are only sufficient until you find a place to pull over.

If you have been involved in a car accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced car accident lawyer.

Source:

Fatigue, Seatbelts Factor In Fatal I-90 Crash , Keloland.com, August 2, 2011

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August 10, 2011

Foxboro Man Seriously Injured in Rollover Accident

A 40-year-old man from Foxboro was ejected from his pickup truck after it rolled over multiple times due to a crash with another vehicle. He was airlifted by medical helicopter to Massachusetts General in Boston on Tuesday afternoon. The two-car crash happened at approximately 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of South and West streets in Foxboro.

Deputy Fire Chief Steve Bagley confirmed that the driver of the pickup truck seemed have chest injuries and also difficulty breathing. Acting Fire Captain David Laracy said that the pickup driver "suffered serious head and chest injuries."

According to the Foxboro Police Department, a 13-year-old boy who was also in the pickup was taken to Norwood Hospital. He was not severely injured.

Witnesses reported to police that the pickup truck rolled over twice before coming to a complete stop. Officials confirmed that the truck was driving North on South Street when it crashed with a sedan which was turning from West Street onto North Street. The truck rolled over twice and landed on its wheels. The driver of the sedan was examined at the scene of the accident but did not sustain any injuries. Truck rollover accidents are frightening and sometimes fatal. While we may never know the exact cause of this accident, we know significant damages were caused by this event.

Due to the accident, the intersection was closed for an hour. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation reports that in 2006, 15% of all Massachusetts fatal crashes were rollovers.

Driving while exhausted, distracted, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs can increase your chances of a rollover accident. If your tires are not properly inflated or if your cargo weight is too heavy for your vehicle´s recommended weight, your chances of a rollover are also increased.

A tripped rollover, such as the case above, or a rollover caused by the tires digging into soft soil or hitting an object, can occur due to any of the following circumstances:

• Soft soil on the side of the road
• Guardrail
• A collision with another vehicle
• Steep slope or ditch

If you have been involved in a road accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Sources:

Man airlifted in Foxboro crash, The Sun Chronicle, August 10, 2011

Roadway Safety Tips, Massachusetts Department of Transportation

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July 29, 2011

Blaze in Saugus Caused by Crashed Gas Tanker

The driver of a gasoline tanker truck has died after his tanker crashed into a median in Saugus on Route 1 and exploded. Neal Michaud, 59, from Manchester, N.H., lost control of the vehicle at approximately 2:15 a.m. on Sunday morning. David Procopio, a State Police spokesman, reported that the truck hit the median before rolling over the barrier and into the opposite lane of traffic. Six cars collided into the gasoline truck and an explosion ignited from the leaking oil. It is approximated that the truck was holding up to 11,000 gallons of fuel.

Michaud could not escape from the cab of the truck and he died at the scene of the accident. He was driving the truck for PJ Murphy Transportation of Methuen. The truck was burned to its frame. Several vehicles were also severely damaged and many had their tires burned completely off of their wheels. Three motorists sustained minor injuries and were treated at local hospitals. Procopio confirmed that one motorist, Kevin Fitzgerald, 60, a resident of South Hamilton, sustained severe burns and had emergency surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Approximately 45 minutes after the truck crashed, a second explosion ignited in a nearby creek due to the spilt gasoline leaking into storm-drains. Fire Chief James L. Blanchard said that this fire sent burning embers into a neighborhood, catching fire to a house, two greenhouse buildings, fences, and numerous areas of brush. Blanchard said, “Lights were shaking from the ceilings of homes, and people woke up to see flames in the back of their house.’’

Saugus resident Michael Shaw, 41, woke up to the sounds of explosions: “They sounded like transformers popping off. That’s what I thought it was first, but then three more came…I looked out the window again and I saw a ball of flame rising.’’ His wife, Nicole, 36, said, “There were explosions going down and the embers were flying on top of our house…I grabbed my kids and the dogs and put them in the car.’’

The residential neighborhood was evacuated and 120 residents had to find shelter in the early morning until they were allowed to return home later that day. The Saugus Fire Department reported an eight-alarm response and fire crews from Boston, Revere, Chelsea, Woburn, Somerville, Belmont, Cambridge, Lynn, Lynnfield, Burlington, Danvers, Stoneham, Malden, Winchester, Medford, Wakefield, Everett, and Winthrop responded. Special units from Massport Fire Rescue helped to contain the gasoline fire with chemical foam equipment that is used for putting out airplane fires. Fire Chief Blanchard said, “We had to get foam in there, and we needed lots of it…Without foam, there’s no hope of controlling the fire.’’

Officials confirmed that most of the gas had burned off in the fires and that drinking water was not affected. Edmund Coletta, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection said “It appears that the gasoline was consumed by the fire…Even though it was released into the environment, it appears to have been consumed at this point.’’

State Representative Donald Wong, who toured the scene of the accident and subsequent fire, said, “We’re fortunate that it happened when it happened…If it happened on a weekday when Route 1 is filled with traffic it would have been much worse.’’

State Police are investigating the accident and the cause of the crash. Procopio said the company has a sound safety record and that “Our commercial vehicle team has had interactions with the company in a positive manner. They have a very good safety record.’’

If you have been involved in a Massachusetts car accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer.

Source:

Gas tanker crash creates Route 1 inferno, The Boston Globe, July 24, 2011

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July 18, 2011

20-Year-Old Bicyclist Victim of Hit-and-Run in Attleboro

A hit-and-run bicycle accident in Attleboro is under investigation. Just before 11:30 p.m. on Thursday night, a resident of Attleboro, Justin Duphilly, 20, was riding his bike on South Main Street when he was struck from behind by a vehicle that drove up onto the sidewalk and then drove off. Detective Sgt. Arthur Brillon said that the vehicle was a black sedan, which could have been a black Ford Taurus. Police are asking anyone who was near the scene of the hit-and-run accident at 456 South Main Street on Thursday night to contact the authorities.

According to authorities, Duphilly was flung into the air due to the collision and landed on the sidewalk. He was taken to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence for numerous injuries, but none were life-threatening. He was released after treatment for stitches, an abrasion on his back, a gash behind his ear, and multiple bruises.

Duphilly´s cousin was with him at the time of the accident. He was riding his bike behind Duphilly and witnessed the accident but was not injured.

Police report that the driver did not stop after hitting Duphilly and fled the scene of the accident. He continued north on South Main Street in the direction of Attleboro´s city center. Because of the nature of the accident, it is possible that the car sustained damage on the front of the vehicle which could help police to identify both the vehicle and the driver.

The accident continues to be under investigation by officers Joseph Ryan, Brett Poirier, and Sgt. James MacDonald while police search for the vehicle and driver.

The 20-year-old victim stated, "I would like to know what he was on and I want him to get caught."

According to Massachusetts General Law, Part I, Title XIV, Chapter 90, Section 24, the first offense for knowingly fleeing the scene of an accident is: "a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not less than thirty days nor more than two years, or both."

We have seen this spring and summer an increase of bicycle accidents in and around the Commonwealth. The warm weather, the expensive gas prices, and the exercise that bicycle riding provides leads to many more cyclists in the warmer seasons. In this case, the victim was very fortunate that the injuries weren’t life threatening.

The victim will still have to deal with his injuries and damage to his bicycle. There are different insurance avenues that one goes through when hit on a bicycle, and the issues become even more complex when the vehicle leaves the scene. For instance did the bicycle rider have an automobile policy, did a household member have an active insurance policy? Did anyone get the license plate of the vehicle? These among many other issues need to be identified to successfully assist someone that has been hit while riding a bike.

If you have been injured in a Massachusetts bicycle accident or involved in an accident with a bike and car, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts bicycle accident lawyer.

Sources:

Bicyclist struck by hit-and-run car, WPRI.com, July 16, 2011

Police seek help in crash probe, The Sun Chronicle, July 16, 2011

Massachusetts General Laws, Part I, Title XIV, Chapter 90, Section 24

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July 12, 2011

Jamaica Plain Man Dead After Two-Vehicle Crash in Quincy

A Jamaica Plain man has died after a two-car crash early on Sunday morning in Quincy. A preliminary investigation by State Police reveals that the 50-year old Jamaica Plain man was driving a 1995 Ford Explorer on Quincy Shore Drive northbound when another vehicle driven by a man from Plymouth, 28-year-old Anthony Deicicchi, was driving southbound and crossed over the center divider line into the opposite lane of traffic. Deicicchi hit the Explorer head-on. The 50-year-old driver and his passenger, a 22-year-old Dorchester man, were both taken to Boston Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. The 50-year-old driver was pronounced dead at the hospital. Deicicchi´s passenger, a 27-year-old man from Hull, was taken to Boston Medical Center, also with serious injuries.

Deicicchi will be arraigned for the death of the driver in Quincy District Court. State Troopers found that Deicicchi was under the influence at the scene of the accident and arrested him. He has been charged with motor vehicle homicide while operating under the influence, two counts of operating under the influence of alcohol causing serious bodily injury for the two surviving victims, operating under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and for violating marked lanes.

The accident is under investigation by Troop H of the Massachusetts State Police, the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, and the State Police Crime Scene Services Section.

Massachusetts General Law, Part I, Title XIV, Chapter 90, Section 24, (1) (a) (1), states that “Whoever, upon any way or in any place to which the public has a right of access, or upon any way or in any place to which members of the public have access as invitees or licensees, operates a motor vehicle with a percentage, by weight, of alcohol in their blood of eight one-hundredths or greater, or while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or of marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants or stimulant substances…shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred nor more than five thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years, or both such fine and imprisonment.”

Although the circumstances and the cause of the accident are still under investigation, it is very likely that this accident was due to Deicicchi´s inebriation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in 2006 alone, 17,941 people died because of alcohol-related collisions in the United States.

As summertime approaches its midpoint, we unfortunately see more of these tragic accidents. Failing to use common sense while drinking and driving can have catastrophic consequences on your life and the lives of others. You have heard this a thousand times before but it can’t be said enough - if you choose to drink, drink responsibly. Whether it requires to take a cab, leave your car, call a friend, our just stay where you are until you are able to safely drive, please do it.

If you have been a victim of a road accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Source:

Plymouth man charged in fatal crash, Wicked Local Plymouth / Enterprise News, July 11, 2011

Massachusetts General Laws, Part I, Title XIV, Chapter 90, Section 24

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July 6, 2011

Man Indicted for Fatal Crash in Somerville

The driver of a fatal accident over two months ago in Somerville has been indicted and will be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on July 6. Kenneth Belew, 21, from Somerville, has been indicted on two counts of motor vehicle homicide. He was allegedly driving under the influence and crashed his vehicle. The crash resulted in the death of two of his five passengers.

Belew has been indicted by a Middlesex County Grand Jury on charges of negligent operation of a motor vehicle and two counts of motor vehicle homicide by operating under the influence of liquor.

On April 21, Belew allegedly left a local bar after alcohol consumption and met up with a group of people at a house in Somerville where he reportedly continued to drink. At 3:15 am, Belew and a group of five people left the house to drive to local restaurant. Belew was asked to slow down by his passengers after speeding and running a red light. At this point, three of the passengers in the vehicle put on their seatbelts. The two deceased teenagers were sitting on the laps of two other passengers in the backseat and remained unrestrained. According to investigators of the accident, Belew was driving excessively fast before losing control of his vehicle. His passangers were thrown forward upon impact and were ejected from the vehicle. All of the victims were transported to Massachusetts General Hospital where their injuries were treated. This is a tragic situation and is a needless end to two lives of his passengers.

Although the charges against Belew are allegations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty, his blood alcohol was measured at the scene of the accident as 0.17 which is more than twice the legal limit of blood alcohol content.

While we have limited facts as to how much alcohol he consumed at each location, one of the questions that needs to be addressed is whether or not he may have been over served at the bar he went to. Also, when he went to the house, who served him the alcohol- -an issue to be investigated is whether there is a social host liability issue? No matter who did the serving, this is a horrible tragedy that could have been avoided.

Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said “This defendant is alleged to have driven under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol level over twice the legal limit, while recklessly driving erratically and at a high rate of speed along a public highway…This defendant’s alleged actions resulted in killing two young girls and injuring three passengers. Impaired driving is a serious public safety concern that can have life changing consequences, as is alleged to be the case here.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 17,941 people died because of alcohol-related collisions in the United States in 2006 alone.

If you have been involved in a road accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Source:

Somerville man indicted on motor vehicle homicide charges, The Somerville News, July 1, 2011

Related Blog Posts:

Drunk Driver Kills Two Teens Not Wearing Seatbelts in Somerville

Victims of Fatal Crash Not Wearing Seatbelts

Drunk Driver Causes Fatal Accident on Interstate 95

Continue reading "Man Indicted for Fatal Crash in Somerville" »

June 29, 2011

Single-Car Rollover Accident in Salem Leaves New Hampshire Man Seriously Injured

A 42-year-old driver from Northwood, New Hampshire, was found Sunday evening on the side of Interstate 93 in Salem after his vehicle rolled over multiple times. Police have confirmed that the driver, Gary Torrey, was not wearing his seatbelt and was ejected from his vehicle upon impact. Torrey´s 1998 Jeep Cherokee reportedly rolled across three lanes of traffic on I-93 North. Police are investigating the accident but the cause is not yet known.

Torrey faces life-threatening injuries and was taken first taken to Lawrence General Hospital and then by helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital. He was treated at the scene of the accident by Salem Fire and Rescue.

Section 13A, Chapter 90, of the Commonwealth´s General Laws, states that all occupants of motor vehicles in a private vehicle, including vans and trucks, are required to be properly restrained by a seatbelt: “No person shall operate a private passenger motor vehicle or ride in a private passenger motor vehicle, a vanpool vehicle or truck under eighteen thousand pounds on any way unless such person is wearing a safety belt which is properly adjusted and fastened.”

In 2008 alone, there were 364 recorded fatalities and 3,193 severe injuries connected to car crashes in Massachusetts. Since 2002, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security's Highway Safety Division has annually implemented the "Click It or Ticket" campaigns and have reportedly helped to increase Massachusetts seatbelt use from 51% in 2002 to 74% in 2009. Fatalities of vehicle occupants also dropped from 57% of crash fatalities to 23% during this same 7-year period.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that seatbelts save over 13,000 lives per year in the United States. The NHTSA provides the following tips on the importance of seatbelt safety:

• Wearing your seatbelt is the best way to protect yourself in an accident
• Airbags do not replace seatbelts
• To buckle-up correctly, the lap belt and shoulder belt should be secure across the pelvis and rib cage
• In order for a seatbelt to work correctly, it must fit correctly; belt extenders or new shoulder belts are available from car dealers and manufacturers.
• Everyone should wear a seatbelt despite age or condition. Pregnant women, obese, and eldery, can all effectively buckle-up safely.

Single-car accidents are common throughout the densely populated state of Massachusetts. Whether you have accidently backed up into a pole or were run off the road by another vehicle, at Altman and Altman we have handled numerous single-car collision cases. Often times when an accident occurs by a phantom vehicle, it is our job to prove that such a vehicle existed. In the above is case above we do not know enough about the circumstances to know if a second car was involved. In cases such as this, seeing if there is any paint transfer, side or rear damage, any possible witnesses, or any other piece of evidence that would help the firm piece together how the accident occurred.

If you have been involved in a road accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Sources:

NH man flown to hospital after Salem rollover crash, The Telegraph, June 27, 2011

Click It Or Ticket Overview, Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security

The top 5 things you should know about buckling up, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Related Blog Posts:

Drunk Driver Kills Two Teens Not Wearing Seatbelts in Somerville

Victims of Fatal Crash Not Wearing Seatbelts

Single-Car Rollover Accident in Northborough

Continue reading "Single-Car Rollover Accident in Salem Leaves New Hampshire Man Seriously Injured" »

June 17, 2011

Drunk Driver Crashes Stolen Car After Police Chase on Interstate 93

After a high-speed chase on Interstate 93 South, Frank S. Ceccaroni Jr., 47, from Holliston, is being held without bail. It will be decided if he is a danger to the public in hearing on Monday. In the Woburn District Court, Judge Paul Yee charged Ceccaroni with his sixth offense for driving under the influence of liquor, receiving a stolen vehicle, receiving stolen property, four counts of refusing to stop for police, driving to endanger, driving with a suspended license due to previous drunk driving charges, driving an unregistered car and driving an uninsured car. In addition to these charges, he was cited for attaching plates, speeding and for violating marked lanes.

At 1:15 a.m. on Wednesday morning, State Trooper Peter Stanley pulled over Ceccaroni in a construction zone for swerving between lanes and for almost hitting another vehicle on I-93 South in Stoneham. According to Stanley, Ceccaroni was showing signs of intoxication. The trooper then ran the license plate number and found that the plate belonged to a Dodge Caravan. Stanley noticed the vehicle´s brake lights going on and off while he was checking his license information and Ceccaroni then drove off extremely fast. He reportedly almost hit the road workers and police officers who were directing traffic through the construction zone. According to Middlesex assistant district attorney Amanda Rowan, as he drove off, he was "exceeding speeds of more than 130 mph."

A high-speed chase ensued and ended in Medford when Cecceroni crashed the vehicle into a trailer truck and was subsequently dragged underneath the trailer truck for a short distance before the truck driver was able to stop. The rescue team had to remove the roof off of the vehicle to extricate Cecceroni. The truck driver was not injured. Rowan commented: "Fortunately this ended with no one, other than the defendant, suffering any injuries…It was an extremely dangerous event."

State police later confirmed that the car he was driving, a red 2005 Infiniti, was stolen on June 1 from Mass Auto Exchange in Framingham. Police also confirmed that the license plate was stolen from a green Dodge Caravan that was parked at Massachusetts General Hospital when the plates were stolen.

In his arraignment on Wednesday, Rowan asked the judge to hold Ceccaroni as a danger to the public. Lisa Kavanaugh, Ceccaroni's lawyer, pleaded not guilty on his behalf and asked that the judge send Ceccaroni to Bridgewater State Hospital for evaluation and alcohol abuse treatment. She cited the Commonwealth´s general laws, Section 35 in Chapter 123, in which the definition of an alcoholic is one who has lost control and their livelihood due to their dependency.

Judge Yee instead ordered that Ceccaroni be held without bail at Middlesx Jail in Cambridge until his hearing on Monday. Our office has handled numerous cases where an individual is injured as a result of a police chase. Often times an innocent bystander can sustain the most significant injuries. If one is injured as a result of a police chase many of the same benefits that they are ordinarily entitled to remain, but depending on the circumstances the possibility exists for a potential uninsured motorist claim or an underinsured motorist claim. Some factors that will influence what type of claim can be brought are whether the vehicle involved in the chase was stolen, whether the vehicle was insured at the time of the chase, what type of automobile you or someone in your household had at the time of the accident.

If you have been involved in a road accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Sources:

I-93 chase ends in crash, OUI arrest, The Boston Globe, June 9, 2011

Holliston man charged with Framingham car theft, drunken driving, The Milford Daily News, June 9, 2011

Related Blog Posts:

Breathalyzer Test Records Not Considered Testimony In Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for Convicted Drunk Drivers

Drunk Driver Causes Fatal Accident on Interstate 95

Driver Crashes, Seriously Injures a Bystander

Continue reading "Drunk Driver Crashes Stolen Car After Police Chase on Interstate 93" »

May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Driving Results in Two Fatalities in Separate Accidents

Over Memorial Day Weekend, two separate fatal car accidents occurred early yesterday morning in Massachusetts. According to Massachusetts State Police, the first accident happened at approximately 1:45 a.m. on Sunday morning in Burlington on Interstate-95. The driver was a 46-year-old male from Burlington whose identity has not been released. He was driving a 2000 Land Rover Discovery and was pronounced deceased at the scene of the accident. Authorities believe that speed was the cause of the accident. The victim was not wearing his seatbelt.#

The second accident under investigation involved a pedestrian on Interstate-195 in Swansea and occurred at 3:12 a.m. Chrisie J. Wallace, aged 40, from Fall River, was hit by a 1998 Cadillac Deville in the eastbound lane. She was declared dead at the scene. The driver was Julian Juan, aged 48, from New Bedford. No charges have been filed against him but State Police are investigating the reason as to why Wallace was walking on the freeway.

As with any holiday or long weekend, it is especially important to use caution and judgment when travelling, always were your seatbelt, do not drive under the influence, and to be wary of possibly intoxicated drivers. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation warned drivers of congested roads and freeways over the weekend and reminded motorists that traffic would be particularly heavy during the daytime and early evenings.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) especially warned motorists to wear their seatbelts over the weekend after releasing their 2011 Click It or Ticket campaign on Thursday, May 26th. In a statement about the campaign, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, "We are reminding Americans to buckle up before they hit the road for the long Memorial Day weekend…Seat belts are a lifesaver, but too many people are failing to buckle their seat belts at night, and it’s costing lives."

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland warned that holidays, such as the Memorial Day weekend, are particularly dangerous and motorists should thus always wear their seatbelts. During the 2009 Memorial Day weekend, 55% of the 306 people who died in car accidents in the United States were not wearing seatbelts. Strickland commented: "Statistics tell a powerful story about the fate of unbelted motorists in crashes. That’s why law enforcement is exceptionally vigilant at this time of year."

If you have been involved in a fatal accident or a pedestrian car accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Sources:

Two fatalities in separate car crashes early this morning, The Boston Globe, May 29, 2011

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces 'Click It or Ticket' Campaign, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, May 26, 2011

Continue reading "Memorial Day Weekend Driving Results in Two Fatalities in Separate Accidents" »

May 27, 2011

Unoccupied Vehicle Hits Pedestrian in Beacon Hill

A car accident in which an unoccupied vehicle hit a pedestrian in Beacon Hill yesterday is under investigation. At approximately 3:15 p.m., emergency personnel were called to the intersection of Mt. Vernon Street and Charles Street. Several witnesses dialed for help after witnessing an empty BMW barrel down Mt. Vernon Street, crash into a Smart car, and then into a woman who was crossing the street in a crosswalk. The 45-year-old pedestrian was dragged across the street by the moving vehicle and then pinned by the car.

Boston Fire spokesman Steve MacDonald reported that before emergency crews arrived, construction workers had attempted to lift the car off of the victim. She was eventually extricated by firemen who used a special jack to lift the vehicle. Police report that she had life-threatening injuries, including a severe head injury and multiple fractured bones. She was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital and is reported to be in serious condition.

The owner of the BMW reportedly double-parked on Mt. Vernon Street, put his car in neutral, and applied the emergency brake before entering a house on the street to visit his uncle. It is reported that his emergency brake failed and the vehicle thus started rolling down the hill. A witness who had seen him run to the accident when he had learned of what had happened, described him as being visibly panicked. Witnesses in cafes and shops in the Beacon Hill neighborhood responded quickly to call for help.

Both the owner of the vehicle and the pedestrian remain unidentified and there have not been any charges as the investigation continues.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation reminds pedestrians to:

• Follow the rules and cross in the intersection, cross when the pedestrian signal lights up with the “walk” light, cross with the green light if there is no pedestrian signal, and in both instances, look both ways for turning or approaching vehicles.
• Walk along the shoulder of a road facing traffic if there is no sidewalk.
• Pay attention to vehicles that are backing up or pulling out as drivers may not see you in their rear view mirror.
• When walking, wear bright or florescent colors in the daytime and lit or reflective material at night to increase your visibility

Because the vehicle in this case was not occupied when it hit the pedestrian and the vehicle´s emergency brake reportedly failed, the legal implications of this accident could be very complicated and will undoubtedly need an experienced Boston pedestrian accident lawyer. If you have been involved in a pedestrian car accident, it is in your best interest to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

This case has numerous angles we could discuss, for the purpose of this blog we will look at some of the insurance coverage issues that the injured pedestrian may encounter. Clearly the pedestrian has a claim against the owner and his insurance carrier. While the owner claims that the brakes failed, this argument doesn’t necessarily get him or his insurance carrier off the hook. The vehicle needs to be looked at by experts that can determine if the brakes failed and if that was the sole cause of the accident. In addition, the pedestrian may find out that the vehicle didn’t have enough insurance coverage to pay for the injuries in the claim. It will be important to know if the pedestrian had their own insurance policy or if someone in the household had an active automobile insurance policy. Generally hiring a personal injury attorney can help you get answers to these questions in a prompt manner. In addition an injury lawyer can assist with the medical bills, lost wages and other expenses that can occur with an accident of this magnitude.

Sources:

Woman seriously injured by rolling vehicle on Beacon Hill, The Boston Globe, May 25, 2011

Chaos ensues after empty car hits woman, The Boston Globe, May 27, 2011

Pedestrian Safety Tips, Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Related Blog Posts:

UConn Student from Westminster, Massachusetts, Killed by Campus Shuttle Bus

Adams Resident Dies in Pedestrian-Motor Vehicle Accident

Continue reading "Unoccupied Vehicle Hits Pedestrian in Beacon Hill" »

May 24, 2011

Boy On Bike Hit By Police Cruiser in Avon

An accident in Avon involving a young boy and a police cruiser yesterday evening is under investigation. Anthony Charette, age 7, was riding his bicycle when he was hit by a Holbrook police officer. Charette first landed on the cruiser´s windshield and then fell into the street. He was taken to Boston Medical Center with serious injuries, but reportedly not life-threatening. He is reported to have multiple broken bones. Police report that the police cruiser was travelling at a slow speed. The boy was out with his grandmother and younger sister and had just come out of the driveway and onto the street at the time of the accident. The name of the cruiser´s driver has not yet been released.

This bike accident comes at the time of National Bike Safety Month and last week was Massaschusetts´ Bay State Bike Week, from May 14th to 20th. MassBike and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, along with several statewide departments, have created Same Roads. Same Rules., a helpful safety resource for bicyclists of all ages.

Safety guidelines for all bicyclists are to:

• Give yourself space from cars
• Ride in the same direction as traffic
• Always wear your helmet
• Stop at red lights and stop signs
• Put front and back lights on your bike at night
• Give pedestrians the right-of-way

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that children under the age of ten should not ride in the street as is recommended for older bicyclists. They recommend that the sidewalk is a safer place for a child under ten to ride their bike. The NHTSA also reports that 630 bicyclists were killed in 2009 in the U.S. and 51,000 bicyclists were additionally injured in accidents with cars.

At Altman and Altman we have been representing individuals who have been injured in bike accidents, motorcycle accidents and mo-ped accidents for over three decades. We have seen that once springtime arrives, bicyclists hit the roads after a long winter hiatus. Drivers are not often used to seeing bicyclists, which often leads to an increase bicycle accident injuries. When a bike accident occurs often times it is confusing for the cyclist. There are insurance coverage questions, lost wage issues, and bike repair bills that need to be addressed.

In addition, bicycle accidents can sometimes be catastrophic. If you have been involved in an accident, it is generally in your best interest to get a lawyer involved sooner than later. Preserving the evidence, hiring experts, bringing in accident reconstruction teams, often has to be done immediately after an accident. These types of steps among others are often needed to identify which party was at fault.

If you have been injured in a Massachusetts bicycle accident or involved in an accident with a bike and a car, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts bicycle accident lawyer.

Sources:

Child hit by police cruiser, Fox25/ MyFoxBoston.com, May 23, 2011

Same Roads. Same Rules., MassBike.org

Bicycles, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Related Blog Posts:

Keeping Safe on the Roads; May is National Bike Safety Month

74-year-old Bicyclist Killed in Boston

SRPEDD Releases List of 100 Most Dangerous Intersections in SE Massachusetts

Sedan Injures Boy on Bike in Lowell Traffic Accident

Continue reading "Boy On Bike Hit By Police Cruiser in Avon" »

May 18, 2011

Car Plunges into Home and Catches Fire in Williamstown

Charges are pending for 29-year-old Timothy Tatro from Pittsfield as an investigation is underway as to why he drove his van off of the road and crashed into a house on Route 7 in Williamstown. Tatro´s vehicle drove approximately 178 feet off of the road at a large curve, onto the front lawn, and into the house´s front bedroom. The crash then quickly ignited a fire in the house and Tatro was rescued before he was harmed by the fire.

The two residents of the house were home but out of harm´s way in the living room. Authorities explained that everyone involved is very fortunate, given the severity of this situation. Williamston Police Chief Kyle Johnson confirmed "There were two people in the home. I'm told they were both away in the living room when the car hit, and I think it jolted one of them out of their seat."

Donna Sampson, a neighbor who witnessed the house catching on fire explained that the house was quickly engulfed in flames after the car hit the house. She said that the accidents on this road are usually coming from the opposite direction of the curve, whereas this vehicle was heading southbound.

Although the cause of this crash is still under investigation, given the circumstances, distracted driving could have played a role in this one-car accident. Distraction.gov, the Official US Government Website for Distracted Driving, reports that in 2009, approximately 448,000 were injured in car accidents due to distracted driving, meaning that 20% of all injury crashes involved distracted driving.

Distractions that can inhibit driver ability are:

• Talking on a cell phone (even if it is hands-free)
• Texting
• Eating or drinking
• Talking with passengers
• Grooming
• Reading (including maps)
• Using a PDA or navigation system
• Watching a video
• Changing the music or radio station

If you have been involved in a Massachusetts car accident or your personal property has been damaged due to a car accident, it is in your best interest to contact a Massachusetts car accident lawyer.

Sources:

Car crashes into home, bursts into flames, WNYT/CNN, May 18, 2011

Statistics and Facts About Distracted Driving, Distraction.gov

Continue reading "Car Plunges into Home and Catches Fire in Williamstown" »

May 16, 2011

Drunk Driver Causes Fatal Accident on Interstate 95

A woman has been charged with drunk driving after causing a fatal accident in Burlington on Saturday night. Nicole Parziale, 39, from Amesbury, was driving on Interstate 95 around 10:30 p.m. when she quickly turned left and crossed the middle lane into oncoming traffic. State Police report that Parziale´s Pontiac Grand Am hit the rear side Kayla E. Trenholm´s 1998 Buick sedan. The Buick came to rest in the third lane of traffic and the Grand Am came to rest on the left lane´s guard rail.

Trenholm, 20, from Hope Valley, R.I., and her passenger, David N. Torrey, 19, of Shannock, R.I., were taken to Winchester Hospital for potential minor injuries.

Parziale and her two passengers, Glenn Robichaud, 55, from Bedford, and Denis J. Splaine, 53, from Boston, were taken to the Lahey Clinic in Burlington. Splaine was released from the hospital after his injuries were treated and Parziale was listed as being in stable condition yesterday. Police report that Robichaud died from his injuries sustained in the accident.

A State Police spokesman, David Procopio, said that Parziale will likely also be charged with motor vehicle homicide. The charges against her currently include operating a vehicle under the influence of liquor, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and operation of a motor vehicle with a suspended driver’s license. This is Parziale´s second offense for driving under the influence of alcohol.

The accident is still under investigation and being conducted by Troop A of the state police, the State Police Collision Analysis Reconstruction Section, the State Police Crime Scene Services Section, the Middlesex County State Police Detective Unit, the Lexington Police and Fire departments, and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's highway division.

If you have been involved in a car accident in Massachusetts, it is in your best interest to contact a Massachusetts car accident lawyer.

Source:

1 killed, 4 hurt in I-95 crash, The Boston Globe, May 16, 2011

Related Blog Posts:

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Plymouth Man Sentenced for Fatal Crash in 2008

Continue reading "Drunk Driver Causes Fatal Accident on Interstate 95 " »

May 10, 2011

Single-Car Rollover Accident in Northborough

A serious single-car rollover accident on I-290 in Northborough is under investigation. Massachusetts State Police reported that around 1 p.m. on Saturday, a Mazda rolled over in the median between the east and west-bound lanes. The female driver and the male passenger have been taken to the Worcester UMass Memorial Medical Center. Although their names have not yet been released, police confirmed that the passenger´s injuries were very severe.

Data produced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that approximately 85% of rollover fatalities are the result of single-vehicle crashes. Most rollover accidents do not involve another vehicle and thus the status of the driver at the time of the crash is a key factor in the crash.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation reports that 15% of vehicles involved in Massachusetts fatal crashes were rollovers in 2006.

Driving while exhausted, distracted, and under the influence can lead to a higher chance of rollover accidents. Properly inflated tires and ensuring that your cargo weight is not too heavy for your vehicle can also increase your ability to maintain vehicle control.

A tripped rollover, or a rollover caused by the tires digging into soft soil or hitting an object, can occur due to any of the following circumstances:

• Soft soil
• Guardrail
• Another vehicle
• Steep slope

When involved in a Massachusetts car accident, it is advised that you contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer.

Sources:

Single-car rollover accident on I-290 seriously injures one, TheDailyNorthborough.com, May 07, 2011

Roadway Safety Tips, Massachusetts Department of Transportation

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Vehicle Hit and Rolls Over on Route 9

SUV Rollover Accident in Sandisfield

Man Injured in Mass. Pike Rollover

Continue reading "Single-Car Rollover Accident in Northborough" »

May 5, 2011

Vehicle Hit and Rolls Over on Route 9

A severe two-car accident on the Boston Turnpike/Route 9 in Shrewsbury yesterday resulted in an overturned vehicle and the temporary closure of Route 9 Eastbound. A 2008 Subaru Forester, driven by Antonia Cappuccio who is 61 and from Jefferson, rolled over when she was hit by a 1995 Lincoln Continental driven by Mary Iannotti, age 84, from Worcester. Cappuccio and Iannotti both hit the center divide and the Subaru continued to rollover. The Lincoln drove off of the road to the right.

Each driver suffered injuries and were both taken to UMass Medical Center in Worcester. The two passengers in the Subaru were also taken to the hospital, one of which was a young child
who was taken to be evaluated.

The cause of this accident continues to be under investigation by an accident reconstruction team and the Shrewsbury Police.

Rollover accidents can occur in many different circumstances. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns that there is a greater rollover risk if:

• The driver is inexperienced or fatigued
• The driver is distracted
• The tires are not the correct size for the vehicle
• The tires are improperly inflated
• Cargo or passenger weight surpasses the recommended weight found in the vehicle´s user manual.

If you have been involved in a Massachusetts car accident, it is advised that you contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer.

Source:

Major accident snarls Route 9 in Shrewsbury, The Shrewsbury Lantern, May 3, 2011

Rollover, safecar.gov

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2-year-old in Car Seat Survives Fatal Crash in Raynham

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Continue reading "Vehicle Hit and Rolls Over on Route 9 " »

May 4, 2011

2-year-old in Car Seat Survives Fatal Crash in Raynham

A fatal accident in Raynham over the weekend is under investigation. The head-on collision on Saturday killed a mother from Taunton. Her only passenger was her 2-year-old daughter, who survived. Kerrin Durrigan was driving a white sedan on South Main Street when it collided into a black pick-up truck driven by Richard Lawrence, 25. His passenger was Justin Hauk, 27. Both from Raynham, they were taken to Morton Hospital and Medical Center. They were treated and have since been released.

Durrigan was trapped inside her vehicle and had to be extricated from the severely damaged car. Firefighters then performed CPR on Durrigan and she was taken to Morton Hospital and Medical Center. Fire Chief James Januse said that she was pronounced dead soon after.

Her daughter, Teagan Wilson, was taken to a Boston hospital to be monitored. Fire Chief Januse said “The child was in a car seat. That probably saved her life.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that approximately 8,959 young lives were saved from 1975 to 2008 because of child seats and restraints. Massachusetts law requires the use of child car seats until children are 8 years of age and are at least 57 inches tall.

The NHTSA recommends to:

• Find a car seat that fits your child's age, height, and weight.
• Keep your child in the car seat for as long as they fit the seat's height and weight requirements found in the manual.
• Children under 13 should always sit in the back seat.

When involved in a Massachusetts car accident, it is advised that you contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer.

Sources:

Raynham Fire Chief: Being in car seat 'probably saved' child’s life in car crash, Taunton Daily Gazette, May 2, 2011

Child Passenger Safety Laws, Governors Highway Safety Administration, May 2011

Related Blog Posts:

Massachusetts Car Crash Injures Mother and Baby

Continue reading "2-year-old in Car Seat Survives Fatal Crash in Raynham" »

April 30, 2011

Series of Early Morning Commute Accidents in Massachusetts Leave One Dead and Several Injured

A number of Wednesday morning car accidents this week left one man dead and Massachusetts State Police busy from accident to accident during the morning commute.

The most severe of four accidents involved a 46-year-old man from Derry, John Perry. After losing control of his vehicle on Route 3, he crossed over an exit ramp in Tynsgborough, crossed the median, rear-ended another vehicle, and then tumbled into the side embankment. Perry was pronounced deceased at the scene of the accident. State Police report that the accident is under investigation but Perry might have suffered from a medical condition that led him to lose control of his vehicle.

Another crash, on Interstate-93 South, was a two-car crash near Ballardvale Street in Wilmington at 6:45 a.m. One person was taken to the hospital for minor injuries.

The third accident involved a commercial vehicle and a 2008 Pontiac Grand Am. William Gurrisi Jr., 48, from Haverhill, was driving the commercial vehicle and Rosalie Papoutsy, 73, from Atkinson, was driving the Pontiac. Gurrisi was transported to Lawrence General Hospital for his injuries. Both vehicles were towed from the scene of the accident. The accident is under investigation and the cause of the accident is not yet known.

The final accident occurred at 6:50 a.m. on Interstate-93 South near Dascomb Road. Thomas Judd, 58, from Lowell was driving his 1998 Buick Regal when it caught fire. He was able to pull over to the side of the road and escape without any injuries before the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames. The Andover Fire Department was able to extinguish the fire and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Although the causes of all of these early morning accidents are under investigation, it is important to be aware of common early morning driving hazards and to never drive when fatigued.

• Do not start your journey tired.
• Do not continue to operate your vehicle if you become tired while driving. Pull over to a safe rest stop as soon as possible.
• Plan at least 15-minute breaks every two hours for long drives.
• Opening the window for fresh air or turning up the radio are only sufficient until you find a place to pull over.

If you have been in a Massachusetts car accident in which fatigue may have been a factor, contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer.

Source:

Derry man dies in Mass. accident, The Eagle-Tribune, April 28, 2011

Continue reading "Series of Early Morning Commute Accidents in Massachusetts Leave One Dead and Several Injured" »

April 27, 2011

Fall River Woman Killed In Single-Car Crash

A single-car accident on Route 24 in Fall River is under investigation in which one woman has died. The only person in the crash, Alexandra Medeiros, 20, from Fall River, was driving North on Route 24 in the early afternoon when her 2002 Nissan Altima crashed into woods on the side of the road.

According to State Trooper Lori-Ann Wheaton’s preliminary investigation, the engine subsequently caught fire due to the crash. Three State Troopers who were at a nearby location responded to the radio dispatch and were able to extinguish the fire. Medeiros was trapped inside until emergency crews were able to extract her from the wreckage. She was then taken to Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River where she was pronounced dead.

Although it is still under investigation, high speed is being considered as a possible reason for the crash. Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police, the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, and the State Police Crime Scene Services Section, are all contributing to the investigation.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding is one of the most common reasons for car accidents. The NHTSA estimates that the economic cost of speed-related crashes is $40.4 billion per year. Speeding was the cause of 31 percent of all fatal crashes in 2008 and in that same year, 11,674 people died in speed-related car accidents.

If you or your loved one has been involved in a fatal Massachusetts car accident, contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer.

Sources:

Fall River woman killed in fiery crash on Route 24, Bridgewater Independent, April 25, 2011

Police ID woman who died in Route 24 crash, Taunton Gazette, April 26, 2011

Driver Education, Speeding, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Related Blog Posts:

Grafton Car Crash Kills Two Massachusetts Men

Peabody Car Crash Kills Massachusetts Man

Continue reading "Fall River Woman Killed In Single-Car Crash" »

April 25, 2011

Drunk Driver Kills Two Teens Not Wearing Seatbelts in Somerville

After a single-car accident at 3:30 a.m. on Friday in Somerville, two teenage girls aged 16 and 17 have died. The first teenager died at the scene of the accident, and the second died on Saturday at Massachusetts General Hospital from her injuries sustained from the crash. Their names have not been released. State Police report that neither girl was wearing a seatbelt.

The teenagers were passengers of Kenneth W. Belew, 21, of Somerville. David Procopio, State Police spokesman, said Belew faces two charges of motor vehicle homicide, drunken driving, a marked lane violation and speeding. He is scheduled to be arraigned today in Somerville District Court. Three other passengers, Jerry Altidor, 21, from Somerville, Rafaela Pereira, 19, from Everett, and Rudolph Reis, 20, from Somerville, were all wearing their seatbelts and sustained only minor injuries.

State Police report that this is not Belew´s first driving violation. He has been cited seven times for speeding, violating lane markings, driving without an inspection sticker, and a seat belt infraction.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the U.S. and are the cause for more than one in three deaths for teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19. In 2009, eight teenagers in this age group died from car accidents every day. They further report that in 2008, three out of every four teenagers killed in car crashes after drinking and driving were not wearing a seat belt.

If you or your loved one has been involved in a Massachusetts car accident, it is advised that you contact a Massachusetts car accident lawyer.

Sources:

2d teen in Somerville crash dies of injuries, The Boston Globe, April 25, 2011

Teen Drivers, Injury Prevention & Control: Motor Vehicle Safety, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Related Blog Posts:

Ipswich Teenager Faces Charges for Breaking Massachusetts Junior Drivers’ License Law

Woburn Teen Dies After Crash in NH


Continue reading "Drunk Driver Kills Two Teens Not Wearing Seatbelts in Somerville" »

April 21, 2011

Multiple Vehicle Accident Involving Dump Truck Leaves Several Injured in Uxbridge

An accident involving a dump truck set off a four-car accident that left three people injured on Route 16 in Uxbridge. A Toyota Camry driven by George Cournoyer, 73, of Slatersville, R.I., drifted into the opposite lane of traffic and hit a dump truck that was towing an excavator. The dump truck then lost control and the trailer flipped over, blocking both lanes. Two other cars were hit as the trailer rolled over.

Cournoyer was severely injured. Mendon Police Chief Ernest Horn, who led the accident reconstruction investigation reported that,"He had significant internal injuries and left-sided injuries from the crash." According to Police Chief Scott J. Freitas, the roof of his car had to be removed in order to extricate him. He was then taken to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester by helicopter.

A pregnant woman from Webster, Stephanie Daigle, and her 6-year-old son were taken to Milford Regional Medical Center with what Freitas described as "very, very minor injuries." She was taken to the hospital as a caution because she was pregnant and has since been released. Her vehicle was hit by the trailer as it rolled over.

Because diesel fuel spilled onto the road from the crash, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and Clean Harbors were contacted to clean up the environmental hazards.

Although no charges have been filed yet, the accident is currently under investigation and charges are expected to be filed.

When involved in a Massachusetts car accident, it is advised that you contact a Massachusetts car accident lawyer. Especially in the case of a multiple-car accident with one vehicle at fault, it is important to find a >lawyer who has decades of experience with multiple-car accident insurance claims.

Source:

Several hurt in Uxbridge crash, The Milford Daily News, April 19, 2011

Similar Blog Posts:

Vehicle Accelerates and Crashes Into Five Cars at Logan International Airport Terminal C

Several Injured and One Killed Following a Four Vehicle Car Crash in Lexington

Continue reading "Multiple Vehicle Accident Involving Dump Truck Leaves Several Injured in Uxbridge" »

April 19, 2011

Vehicle Accelerates and Crashes Into Five Cars at Logan International Airport Terminal C

An accident involving at least six cars at the Boston Logan International Airport is under investigation. On Monday morning at approximately 6:35 a.m., the multiple vehicle crash happened at the Terminal C drop-off departure level outside of the Jet Blue check-in area. State police report that a 63-year-old North Reading woman caused the accident by accelerating instead of braking. After hitting five cars in a row, her 2007 Ford Explorer finally came to a halt in a baggage checking area on the curb. Logan Airport spokesman Phil Orlandella confirmed that the vehicle came to a stop at the AirTran area of the terminal.

Police report that the woman driving the SUV has been identified as Carol Guthrie. In a preliminary investigation, State Police found that she mistook her gas pedal for her brake pedal. She has nonetheless been issued a summons and has been cited for negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

Boston Emergency Medical Services reported that three people, including Guthrie, were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with minor injuries. This accident continues to be under investigation.

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact one of our experienced Boston car accident lawyers for a free consultation.

Sources:

North Reading woman cited by State Police for crash at Logan Airport, boston.com, April 18, 2011

Minor injuries in Boston airport car crash, Boston Globe, April 18, 2011

Continue reading "Vehicle Accelerates and Crashes Into Five Cars at Logan International Airport Terminal C" »

April 15, 2011

Head-On Collision in Sandwich Leaves Three Severely Injured

Three people were severely injured on Thursday night in a car accident with a pick-up truck in Sandwich, Massachusetts. Around 5:30 p.m., a pick-up truck was turning left onto Route 130 from Grand Oak Road and collided head-on with a car coming from the opposite direction. Authorities report that the driver of the pick-up truck was John Spinella, 46, from Forestdale, and Anthony Mastrangelo, 26, from Sandwich, was driving the car. Although no one in the truck was injured, all occupants in the car sustained serious injuries.

According to medical personnel at the scene of the accident, a 20-year-old female passenger had a severe head injury and was taken by a medical helicopter to Boston Medical Center. The two males in the vehicle, including Mastrangelo, were also reported to have serious injuries and were taken to Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital.

Sandwich Police Sargent Joseph Cotter reported that the names of the other two victims are being withheld until their families are notified. The accident is still under investigation.

If you have been injured on the road in car accident, contact one of our experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyers for a free consultation.

Sources:

Three seriously injured in head-on car crash, Fox 25 / MyFoxBoston.com, April 14, 2011

Three people injured in Route 130 crash, Cape Cod Times, April 15, 2011

Continue reading "Head-On Collision in Sandwich Leaves Three Severely Injured " »

April 14, 2011

Car Runs Stop Sign and Crashes into MBTA Bus in Dedham

The driver of a car was cited on Tuesday for failing to stop at a stop sign on Providence Highway and as a result caused a crash with a Route 34E bus in Dedham. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority reported that six people were injured in the car and bus crash. Five people on the bus were taken to hospitals in the area with back injuries. The 19-year-old driver of the car was taken to Norwood Hospital with a back injury.

Although the accident is still under investigation, MBTA spokeswoman Lydia Rivera reported that the bus was damaged on the right side and that the car was dented at the front.

The MBTA website provides passengers with emergency safety information and recommendations in the case of an emergency or accident. For bus transit emergencies, MBTA recommends to:

• Remain calm and to follow the instructions of the driver
• Know where the emergency exits are located
• Only exit the bus when the driver says it is safe to evacuate
• Sit close to the bus driver at the front of the bus during off-hours
• If you are medically qualified and capable of helping in an emergency, identify yourself to the driver or Transit Police
• Notify the bus driver of any trouble or suspicious activity on the bus. The driver can radio the dispatcher and notify the MBTA Transit Police Department.

If you have been injured on the road in a bus or car accident, contact one of our experienced Boston car and bus accident lawyers for a free consultation.

Sources:

6 Hurt In Car, Bus Crash, TheBostonChannel.com, April 12, 2011

Emergency Instructions and Transit Safety Tips, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

Continue reading " Car Runs Stop Sign and Crashes into MBTA Bus in Dedham" »

April 12, 2011

Massachusetts Woman Arrested for Driving Under the Influence and Causing Fatal Accident on I-395

A fatal two-car accident on Interstate 395 is under investigation. Police report that Dina Senibaldi, 26, of Everett, Massachusetts, was driving southbound between exits 77 and 78 when she hit the car in front of her. She was arrested at the scene for driving while under the influence, and for possession of marijuana and narcotics. Although she refused medical treatment, her passenger, Marirose Lynch, 25, also from Everett, was taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital for a cut on her forehead.

The car that Senibaldi hit was carrying Edmund L. Davis, 52, from New Haven, Connecticut, and Lisa Delprete, 45, from North Haven, Connecticut. Davis lost control of his vehicle after the impact and crashed into the guardrail on the passenger’s side of the vehicle where Delprete was seated. Delprete was reportedly taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital for severe head injuries. She was pronounced dead later that day. Davis was also taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital for severe head and chest injuries. State police report that because of the severity of his injuries, he has been transported to Yale New Haven Hospital and is in critical condition.

The Department of Transportation reports that the accident happened just after 11 p.m. on Friday night. Emergency personnel requested for a medical helicopter but it was too cloudy for flight.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that almost one-third of all traffic deaths involve drunk or impaired drivers. If you have been injured in an accident, contact on of our experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyers for a free consultation.

Alleged Drunk Driving Accident Claims Life of North Haven Woman, North Haven Patch, April 9, 2011

Impaired Driving, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Continue reading "Massachusetts Woman Arrested for Driving Under the Influence and Causing Fatal Accident on I-395" »

April 8, 2011

Off-Duty Boston Police Officer Collides With Boston Fire Truck

In Mattapan, Massachusetts, an SUV carrying an off-duty Boston police officer crashed into a Boston fire truck that was on its way to respond to a car accident. The fire truck, Engine 29, reportedly had sirens and lights on but according to witnesses, it went straight through a red light without slowing down. After colliding with the SUV, it crashed into a light pole. The accident occurred on Harvard Street at a very busy intersection.

The police officer who was in the SUV has sustained a serious leg injury from the accident. He was scheduled for a leg operation on Wednesday. The victim’s sister, Allyson Vinson Bowore, said that her brother, Darrell Vinson, has been with the Boston Police Department for twenty years. She said he was off-duty and headed to work when “The light turned green and he went and that’s when he got hit by the fire truck.”

The accident is under investigation by State police and no charges have been filed yet. Investigators are hoping that the traffic camera has captured this accident. Massachusetts state law requires that all emergency vehicles must stop at intersections for a red light even with their sirens and lights on. Officials have confirmed that the driver of Engine 29 has had drug and alcohol tests in the aftermath of the accident.

If you have been involved in an accident, contact on of our experienced Boston car accident attorneys for a free consultation.

Source:

SUV hits Boston fire truck in Mattapan, 7-News / whdh.com, April 6, 2011

Continue reading "Off-Duty Boston Police Officer Collides With Boston Fire Truck" »

April 6, 2011

Fatal Hit And Run Accident in Dorchester Kills 39-Year-Old Mother

A fatal accident in Dorchester is under investigation in which a 39-year-old mother was killed. The other passenger in the car was the sister of the deceased. Police report that the accident was caused by another driver who fled the scene. The sister informed authorities that they slammed into a tree after they were hit by another car who was trying to pass them. The hit and run accident occurred at the corner of Washington Street and School Street, at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Saturday.

In the event of an accident in Massachusetts, drivers are required by law to stop at the scene of the accident and exchange information with the other driver. If the accident occurred on someone’s property, then the driver is also required to exchange information with the owner of the property that was damaged. It is illegal for a driver to flee the scene of an accident. The minimum punishment for fleeing the scene of an accident resulting in death is 2 and a half years of imprisonment and a fine of no no less than $1,000.

Boston Police are searching for a small to medium-sized black car that was seen within the vicinity of the accident.

If you are the victim of a hit and run accident, contact on of our experienced Boston hit and run accident attorneys for a free consultation.

Source:

Mother of 3 killed in hit and run, FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com, April 4, 2011

Continue reading "Fatal Hit And Run Accident in Dorchester Kills 39-Year-Old Mother" »

April 4, 2011

Ipswich Teenager Faces Charges for Breaking Massachusetts Junior Drivers’ License Law

A teenager from Ipswich faces charges for breaking the Massachusetts junior drivers’ license law by driving after midnight. Drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to drive between 12:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. After speeding and crashing his car in Gloucester around 1:30 a.m. on Friday morning, 17-year-old Alden Burnham told police that he had slid on snow and into a rock. Police have reported that when they arrived at the scene, there were approximately 40 feet of skid marks on about 4 inches of snow on the unplowed road. Burnham was not injured in this accident.

Such charges are very common amongst young drivers. In an effort to minimize teen accidents and teen driving fatalities, the state has adopted and implemented rules for junior drivers. Because car accidents are the most prominent killer of teens in the nation and young drivers are four times more likely to be killed and 14 times more likely to be injured than any other age group, the state has recently revised and toughened its junior driving law. Drivers under the age of 18 in Massachusetts can now expect to face multiple charges or license restrictions if they violate any of the following state laws:

• Not allowed to carry passengers for first 6 months (other than parents)
• Time Restriction Violation, 12:30 a.m. – 5 a.m.
• Operating to Endanger/Recklessly or Negligent
• Drag-Racing not permitted
• Speeding not permitte
• Conviction for the use of a mobile electronic device (text or phone)
• Negligent operation and injury from mobile phone use

The first-offense charges for violating the time restriction is a 60-day license suspension and a $100 reinstatement fee.

If you or your loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact on of our experienced Massachusetts Car Accident Lawyers for a free consultation.

Sources:

Ipswich teen charged in Gloucester accident, The Salem News, April 2, 2011

Junior Operator License, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, mass.gov

Continue reading "Ipswich Teenager Faces Charges for Breaking Massachusetts Junior Drivers’ License Law" »

March 31, 2011

Man Responsible For Fatal Somerville 2007 Car Accident Found Guilty of Manslaughter

Earlier this week, a man responsible for a 2007 fatal car accident in Somerville was sentenced to 15 to 20 years in state prison, after which he has a 15-year probation on the condition that he is not allowed to operate a vehicle or does not try to reinstate his driver’s license. According to the Office of Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone, Javier Morales, 29, from Somerville, pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter, driving with a suspended license, subsequent offense, and failure to stop for a police officer.

Morales caused the accident in May 2007 by failing to pull over for State Police on Route 16, who then proceeded to pursue him through Somerville. It is reported that he was driving 76 mph without his headlights on at about 1:30 a.m. before he crashed his SUV into a taxi. The driver of the taxi was Walid Chahine, 45, of Methuen, and the passengers were Paul Farris, 23, of Medford and a woman who has remained unidentified. Both Chahine and Farris died from their injuries incurred in this accident and the woman was extensively hospitalized. She is said to still be affected by her injuries from the accident. All passengers in the taxi were wearing their seatbelts but the force and speed at which Morales was traveling caused an impact that the seatbelts could not withhold.

In a statement released by District Attorney Gerard Leone, he explained that “This defendant pleaded guilty to causing a horrific car crash that resulted in the death of two innocent men and left a third victim with life-long injuries…This defendant had numerous opportunities to stop for the police officer, yet continued to make decisions to drive unsafely at high rates of speed through densely-populated areas, endangering those around him. By pleading guilty today, this defendant is admitting to these troubling charges and will remain off the roads and out of communities for an extensive period of time.”

If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident because of a negligent driver, our experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyers are here to help with over 25 years of experience and a free consultation.

Source:

Driver In Somerville Motor Vehicle Crash Pleads Guilty To Two Counts of Manslaughter, Office of Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone Press Release, March 28, 2011

Continue reading "Man Responsible For Fatal Somerville 2007 Car Accident Found Guilty of Manslaughter" »

March 28, 2011

Fatal Accident Closes Sumner Tunnel in Boston

Late on Sunday night, a single car crashed inside the Sumner Tunnel in Boston, resulting in the death of an unidentified man. Around 10 p.m., State Police responded to the scene of the fatal accident, which shut down the Storrow Drive ramp. Authorities confirmed that the car, identified as a white pick-up truck, was heading towards Storrow Drive when it crashed into the side of the tunnel.

Although the cause of the accident has not yet been determined, witnesses reported that the driver was speeding. Roman Wunderlich, a witness who was first passed by the truck and the only other vehicle in the tunnel at the time of the accident, said, “He didn't stop, he didn't brake, nothing…no screeching tires, there was nothing, he just went right into the wall…I’d say he was probably going about 100 miles an hour.” A second witness arrived at the scene of the accident and pulled up next to Wunderlich who warned him of the deadly accident up ahead. The second witness asked him if it was a white pick-up truck as he had just seen him speed through the toll booth just minutes before. The driver has not been identified yet and authorities have not found a driver’s license at the scene of the accident.

The Storrow Drive ramp inside the Sumner Tunnel has been the site of other fatal accidents in the past. In November 2009, a woman died and two were seriously injured in an accident and another crash in February 2008 killed a man and injured three more.

If you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced Boston car fatality lawyers for a free consultation.

Sources:

Crash in Boston’s Sumner Tunnel kills 1 person, Boston Herald, March 28, 2011

One dead after crash in Sumner Tunnel, Boston Globe, March 27, 2011

1 dies in crash in Sumner Tunnel, 7-News, whdh.com, March 28, 2011

Continue reading "Fatal Accident Closes Sumner Tunnel in Boston" »

March 24, 2011

SUV Rollover Accident in Sandisfield

In Sandisfield, Southern Berkshire County, a woman driving an SUV has been severely injured after her vehicle flipped over in a single-car accident. Massachusetts State Police have reported that Jazmine Solero, 33, of New York, was driving four passengers on Route 8 in an Isuzu Rodeo. Because of ice and snow, Solero lost control and veered off of the road into an embankment. Her vehicle then crashed into a telephone pole and flipped over. Solero was trapped inside until the emergency crew pulled her from the wreck. All four passengers, two in their twenties and two teenagers, are reported to have potentially serious injuries but the extent of which is unknown. Police have confirmed that Solero was not speeding when the accident occurred.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rates the Isuzu Rodeo with an average of three out five stars for rollover safety on models made between 1990 and 2010. They also explain that rollover accidents have a higher fatality rate than other types of crashes and are most likely to happen on rural roads as almost 75% of all rollover accidents occur on rural roads. As a precaution for drivers, the NHTSA provides these safety tips on how to prevent a rollover accident:

• Use extra caution on rural roads and highways, especially on undivided two-way roads. Soft shoulders or embankments can increase chances of flipping.
• Avoid panicked or quick steering; quickly overcorrecting steering at high speeds can result in loss of control and rolling over.
• Maintain tires with the correct amount of air. This will help the driver to control the vehicle and prevent a vehicle from sliding on wet or icy pavement.
• Know your vehicle’s weight limit. Find your car’s suggested weight limit in your car’s owner manual to ensure that the vehicle load does not exceed the suggested safe load.

If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced Massachusetts Car Accident Lawyers for advice and a free consultation.

Sources:

Five injured in Sandisfield SUV crash, 22News, wwlp.com, March 22, 2011

5-Star Safety Ratings, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Continue reading "SUV Rollover Accident in Sandisfield" »

March 21, 2011

Plymouth Man Sentenced for Fatal Crash in 2008

Two and a half years after a fatal accident on Mt. Hope Bridge, Jamie Pretti of Plymouth has been charged with one count of driving under the influence resulting in death and to leaving the scene of the accident resulting in death. On September 12, 2008, Jamie Pretti was driving with his friend, Timothy Macleod, of Plymouth, from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth to Roger Williams University for a party. Pretty is reported to have lost control of his vehicle when he tried to pass another vehicle on the Mt. Hope Bridge, resulting in the death of Macleod. The Office of the Attorney General said that a breath test confirmed that Pretti’s blood alcohol was more than twice the legal limit.

Since the accident, Pretti has been out on $100,000 surety bail but is now in the custody of the Department of Corrections. Pretti pleaded no contest to his sentence of 15 years, with seven to serve, three and a half of which will be held at Adult Correctional Institutions and three and a half years on home confinement. He also lost his license for five years and has been ordered to pay $5,000 in fines.

Drinking and consumption of alcohol on or around campuses affect almost all college campuses. College Drinking Prevention reports that approximately 3,360,000 college students drive under the influence of alcohol in one year. The National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), a part of the National Institutes of Health, has recently conducted research projects in which colleges and their surrounding communities attempt to reduce excessive alcohol consumption by targeting local drinking settings and implementing prevention strategies in an attempt to minimize college-related alcohol abuse and drunk driving.

If you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyers for a free consultation.

Massachusetts Man Sentenced in Connection with Fatal Crash on Mt. Hope Bridge, Bristol-Warren Patch, March 14, 2011

NIH-Supported Study finds Strategies to Reduce College Drinking, National Institutes of Health, November 11, 2010

Continue reading " Plymouth Man Sentenced for Fatal Crash in 2008" »

March 16, 2011

State Senator Katherine Clark Calls for Clearer Drunk Driving Laws in Massachusetts

In an effort to make Massachusetts drunk driving laws easier to understand and apply, State Senator Katherine Clark has called for legislation that would make the laws more comprehensible. In Massachusetts, impaired driving laws have been amended 69 times and continue to become more confusing and repeated in many places. For example, when the legislation was changed in 2005 for repeat drunk driving, not only did it adopt the new name, “Melanie’s Law,” in memory of 13-year old Melanie Powell who was killed by a repeat drunk driver, but the change added eight new sections and seven new categories of amendments to the law that was already ambiguous. As a result, the law can be construed and interpreted in many different ways.

In an article written by State Senator Clark in today’s Boston Globe, Clark writes that: “…judges, prosecutors and defense counsel struggle to apply the law. Most experts agree that the content of the law is solid, but the language needs to be re-worked to ensure protections against drunk drivers.” She continues to say, “In an effort to reorganize the Commonwealth’s OUI laws, I have filed An Act to Protect the Citizens of the Commonwealth from Drunk Drivers.” She argues that this call to clarify the law will not change the substance, criminal sentences, or penalties, but will rather make it easier to understand and use in order to protect citizens from drunk drivers.

There are approximately 13,000 Massachusetts drivers who are convicted of drinking and driving each year. In 2008 alone, there were 363 traffic fatalities due to drunk driving in Massachusetts. State Senator Clark asserts that this legislation will improve the drunk driving law to “protect the citizens of the Commonwealth.”

If you have been injured in an accident, please feel free to contact one of our experienced lawyers for a free consultation.

Source:

Clark calls for clarifying drunk driving laws, The Boston Globe, March 16, 2011

Continue reading "State Senator Katherine Clark Calls for Clearer Drunk Driving Laws in Massachusetts" »

March 11, 2011

State Trooper Hit Head-On in Framingham

An investigation is underway to determine if the cause of a head-on crash with a Framingham state trooper is due to a car race. Just after 1 a.m. on March 9th, State Trooper Edward Treseler was hit head-on by Alejandro Ramos, 27, of Framingham, who had crossed over the double yellow line on Route 30 in Framingham. Treseler was taken to Framingham Union Hospital and has been released. Ramos, who was not wearing his seatbelt, was taken by helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital with severe head injuries. Driving next to Ramos’ vehicle, in the other traffic lane, was Falcaneri P. Fuentes, 31, and his passenger, Yenci Pineda, 19, also both from Framingham. Fuentes and Pineda were not injured. Police report that both vehicles were going twice the speed limit, at least 70 mph in a clearly marked 35 mph area. Neither driver has been charged yet but they will be summoned for recklessly operating a vehicle, speeding, violating a marked lane, and driving without a license.

According to State Police, Treseler was at least the 11th trooper involved in a serious accident in the past 15 months that has been attributed to civilian reckless driving, speeding, or impaired driving. This year alone, three troopers have been involved in serious car accidents. Rick Brown, President of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, says that these crashes are due to fewer troopers on the road: “We’re down almost 500 troopers, so when drivers see us every 20 or 30 miles instead of every five or 10 miles, they tend to drive faster…We haven’t had a new class in almost five years…It’s a public safety issue, and it’s something that will also protect us more.’’ According to David Procopio, from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the last class of troopers graduated in 2006, at which point there were 2,600 troopers and now there are less than 2,100.

If you have been involved in a car accident and would like a free consultation, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced car accident lawyers.

Source:

Trooper OK after cruiser is hit head-on, Boston Globe, March 10, 2011

Continue reading "State Trooper Hit Head-On in Framingham" »

March 9, 2011

Rear-End Accident Turns Fatal in Lynnfield

In Lynnfield, Massachusetts, a fender-bender turned into a fatal accident. After a taxi rear-ended a Chevrolet Cobalt, both of the drivers pulled over and exited their vehicles to inspect the damage. William Halpin III, 25, from Melrose, who was under the influence of drugs in a passing vehicle, hit both the taxi driver and the parked Cobalt. The taxi driver, from Lynn, died after he was taken to the hospital. Police arrested Halpin for vehicular homicide and for driving under the influence. The other injured victim was a six-year-old boy who was sitting in the Cobalt when it was struck by Halpin.

When pulled over on the side of the road, it is very important to assess the situation of passing vehicles. Although the driver in this case was under the influence, one must always look carefully for oncoming traffic. Remember to turn on your hazard lights and carry the necessary roadside accident supplies in your trunk, such as a reflective hazard indicator to put on the street and a reflective florescent vest.

In the event of a collision, Sheila Varnado, of the Driving School Association of the
Americas, suggests the following:

• Make sure that you are out of harm's way. Once you are outside of your vehicle, you are at risk of being hit by oncoming traffic.
• If you are disoriented or injured, stay in the car.
• First check yourself for injuries, then check others.
• Only provide medical assistance that you are capable of and trained in. Vernado says: "Anytime you're involved in a collision, only render aid within your ability."
• Call 911. You are required to call the police or highway patrol if anyone is injured. Dial 911, or program the highway-patrol number into your cell-phone.
• Write down the other driver’s name, address, date of birth, phone number, car make and model, and license plate number. Varnado says, "Get the full information of all drivers, passengers, and witnesses…This includes driver's license numbers, vehicle registration and proof of insurance with policy number."
• For legal and insurance purposes, take pictures using a cell-phone or disposable camera. That way, Varnado says, you can "see how the intersection looked, the weather conditions, icy roads, exactly how much damage was done to the cars, the position of the vehicles, where the vehicles ended up, and the severity of the collision for example."
• Inform your insurance company.

If you have been injured in an accident and would like a free consultation, feel free to contact one of our attorneys who have over 25 years of experience representing car accident victims.

Sources:

Car accident in Lynnfield, Mass. claims one life, NECN, March 5, 2011

What to do if you get into an accident, The Boston Globe

Continue reading "Rear-End Accident Turns Fatal in Lynnfield" »

March 4, 2011

Massachusetts Man Injured With Head and Face Trauma after Struck by Ice From Passing Truck

A Massachusetts man suffered critical head and face trauma after chunks of ice fell off of a passing truck trailer on Route 31 in New Hampshire. Stanley Raczelowski, of Westford, Massachusetts, was driving northbound when the ice fell from a truck heading southbound near the town of Mason, New Hampshire. There are no witnesses of this single-car accident. Although it is possible that the driver was unaware of ice falling off of his or her vehicle, the driver, owner, or company of the truck, have not yet been found or identified.

Police reported that Raczelowski was first taken to Monadnock Regional Hospital and then transferred to a Worcester, Massachusetts, hospital for more treatment.

In New Hampshire, drivers who do not clear ice off of their vehicle can be charged with $250 to $500 and negligent driving. Known as “Jessica’s Law”, this legislation was passed after Jessica Smith was killed in 1999 in an accident in which the driver of a state truck lost control and crashed into her vehicle after he was struck by a 9-foot piece of ice that flew off of a passing trailer truck.

In Massachusetts, State Representative Cleon Turner is currently pushing for this same type of law. Turner argues “I’m…concerned about having legislation there or a statute there eventually that will give police the tools they need to stop a vehicle and say, ‘Look. You need to clean the snow off your vehicle because it’s dangerous.’” He said that the amount of the fine is negotiable but the concept that drivers should completely clear the snow off of their cars should be mandatory for the safety of other drivers.

If you have been involved in a car accident and would like a free consultation, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced lawyers.

Sources:

Flying ice causes Greenville accident, The Telegraph and NashuaTelegraph.com, March 4, 2011

Lawmaker proposes fine for not clearing snow off cars, 7-News whdh.com, February 4, 2011

Continue reading "Massachusetts Man Injured With Head and Face Trauma after Struck by Ice From Passing Truck" »

March 2, 2011

Revere Accident Caused By Drunk Driver

A two-car crash in Revere yesterday is under investigation. The driver of a Volkswagen was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital after he was hit by a drunk driver in a Lincoln. Both the driver and passenger of the Lincoln were reported to be drunk but only one of them was arrested as the other fled the scene. The extent of the injured man’s condition is unknown but the jaws of life were needed to extricate him from his vehicle.

Drinking and driving, as well as fleeing the scene of an accident, is illegal and can result in arrest, fines and/or imprisonment. Although it is sometimes impossible to prevent an accident from happening, especially when a drunk driver is involved, it is important to take caution and be a defensive driver. In order to protect yourself from drunk drivers on the road, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

• Always wear your seatbelt and make sure your passengers do the same.

• Be an alert driver and try to stay away from other drivers who appear to be intoxicated or distracted and/or are swerving.

• Stop driving if you are tired or weary. This not only causes you to be a potentially unsafe driver, but you also might not notice drunk drivers around you.

• Make sure your car’s safety features have recently been inspected and are fully functioning.

• Be aware of what time you are driving. In 2004, 39.6% of drunk driving accidents happened between 10pm and 2am, and 37.5% of drunk driving accidents happened on Friday or Saturday nights.

Our lawyers have over 25 years of experience representing car accident victims throughout Massachusetts. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have a question on a case or would like a free consultation.

Sources:

Drunk driving likely cause of 2-car crash in Revere, 7-News whdh.com, March 1, 2011

How to Protect Yourself from Drunk Drivers, DrunkDriving.com

Continue reading "Revere Accident Caused By Drunk Driver" »

February 28, 2011

Victims of Fatal Crash Not Wearing Seatbelts

Massachusetts State Police are investigating a fatal accident in which Karla Nieves-Vazquez, 23, and Jesus Nieves, 17, both of Springfield, were killed on Interstate-91. Police believe that neither Nieves-Vasquez or Nieves were wearing seatbelts. In this single-car crash, it is reported that Nieves-Vasquez lost control of her 2002 Dodge Stratus. The car turned over multiple times and then landed in the ditch of the median. The car’s other two occupants, Jesus A. Ferreira, 20, and Martin A. Nieves, 18, also of Springfield, were taken to Baystate Medical Center for medical attention.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that seatbelts save over 13,000 lives per year. In 2006, over 60% of victims of fatal car crashes between the ages of 16-24 were not wearing seatbelts. These lives could have been saved if they were wearing seatbelts. The NHTSA provides the following life-saving reminders on the importance of seatbelt safety:

• Wearing your seatbelt is the best thing you can do to protect yourself in an accident
• Airbags are not designed to replace seatbelts
• Buckle-up correctly; the lap belt and shoulder belt should be secure across the pelvis and rib cage, which can endure crash forces better than other parts of your body
• Make sure your seatbelt fits; you can obtain belt extenders or a new shoulder belt from your car dealer or manufacturer
• Age or condition is not an excuse; everyone should wear a seatbelt. There are effective ways for pregnant women, obese, and eldery, to safely buckle-up. Visit A Parent's Guide to Child Safety on
how to safely buckle-up your child.

Our experienced lawyers have over 25 years of knowledge representing car accident victims throughout Massachusetts. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have a question on a case or would like a free consultation.

Sources:

I-91 crash victims identified, WWLP-22News, February 25, 2011

The top 5 things you should know about buckling up, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Continue reading "Victims of Fatal Crash Not Wearing Seatbelts" »

February 24, 2011

Fatal Three-Car Pile-Up in Peabody

At 6:44 a.m. on Wednesday morning, a three-car accident on Route 128 resulted in the death of Wallace Arnott, a 56-year-old man from Haverhill. Dr. Joshua Namias, who was on his way to Salem Hospital for work, pulled over and provided assistance alongside an unidentified nurse, who had also pulled over to help. They were able to provide CPR for Arnott until paramedics arrived.

Arnott was first taken to Salem Hospital, and then transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital where he was pronounced dead in the early afternoon. Arnott was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Aveo, which is a small car. The other two vehicles involved were a 1996 Jeep Cherokee and a 2002 Chevrolet Venture minivan. Kenneth Weeden of Peabody, was the driver of the Jeep and was taken to Salem Hospital for serious injuries. The driver of the minivan, Rita Tavarez, was not injured. Although the crash is under investigation, state police have confirmed that the accident was a series of rear-end accidents.

State police, the Peabody Fire Department, and the Massachusetts Highway Division, all responded to the scene of the accident.

Reported shortly after this crash in the northbound lanes, an accident in the parallel southbound lanes occurred. There were no serious injuries reported in the second crash and both lanes were cleared by 10:30 a.m.

Our lawyers have over 25 years of experience representing clients throughout Massachusetts who have been involved in car accidents. Please feel free to contact us if you have a question in regards to a case and would like a free consultation.

Source:

Man killed, 1 injured in crash on Route 128 Gloucester Times, February 23, 2011

Continue reading "Fatal Three-Car Pile-Up in Peabody" »

February 22, 2011

Alcohol Detection System Being Developed to Promote Safe Driving

QinetiQ North America, a research and development company based in Waltham, is developing a system that can sense a driver’s blood alcohol level and prevent the car from moving if the driver’s alcohol content is at or above the .08 legal limit. The system, the Driver Alcohol Detection Systems for Safety, will use sensors on the steering wheel and door locks to determine the driver’s blood alcohol level via skin contact.

David Strickland, the director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), said that the technology could prevent as many as 9,000 fatal alcohol-related crashes a year in the United States. In 2008 alone, 42% of Massachusetts driving fatalities were the result of drinking and driving. Alcohol-related accidents continue to plague the state.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently visited the Waltham facility for a public demonstration of the system, during which the system was tested and displayed. Strickland, who was also at the demonstration, said that although the device is in the early stages of development and that it will not be available for another few years, he emphasized that it will not be released until it is "seamless, unobtrusive and unfailingly accurate." LaHood said that the alcohol detection system is "another arrow in our automotive safety quiver," as it is envisioned to deter drinking and driving for the future.

Our experienced lawyers represent clients throughout Massachusetts who have been in alcohol-related accidents. If you have a question in regards to a case and would like a free consultation, please feel free to contact us.

Source:

In Future, Cars Might Decide If Driver Is Drunk,National Public Radio, The Associated Press, January 29, 2011


Continue reading "Alcohol Detection System Being Developed to Promote Safe Driving" »

February 18, 2011

90-Day Review of Massachusetts Distracted Driving Law

Here in Massachusetts, the Distracted Driving Law took effect on September 30, 2010, which fines motorists $100 for using cell phones to call, text, or engage in internet searches while driving in an effort to reduce the risk of Massachusetts car accidents and fatalities caused by distracted driving. In a recent 90-day study of the law, police cited only 245 people for texting while driving, which for lawmakers is surprisingly low. This is likely due to the difficulty of enforcing the law and the fact that people can still appear to be an attentive driver while using a cell phone by hiding the phone.

Director of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Dr. Don Fisher, has created a driving simulation lab that tracks the driver's eye movements while texting. Fischer says, “The risk while you're texting is 23 times higher than while you're not texting…when you're texting you're spending especially long periods of time with your eyes away from the forward roadway – much longer than the two seconds that's barely safe.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports the facts on distracted driving:
•20% of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving.
•Using a hands-free or hand-held cell phone while driving delays a driver's reactions
as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent.
•16% of all drivers under than 20 years of age who were involved in fatal crashes were
reported to have been distracted while driving.
•Distracted driving is reported to have claimed the lives of 5,474 people and injured
an additional 448,000 in the United States in 2009 alone.

Our experienced lawyers represent clients throughout Massachusetts who have suffered injuries or the death of a loved one because of such distracted driving accidents. If you have a question in regards to a case and would like a free consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sources:

245 texting-while-driving tickets in Mass., UPI.com, January 6, 2011

Maine Summit Takes Aim at Texting While Driving, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, February 16, 2011

Statistics and Facts About Distracted Driving, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Continue reading "90-Day Review of Massachusetts Distracted Driving Law " »

February 14, 2011

Northborough Woman Dies in I-95 Accident

Claudette J. Kumor, 57, of Northborough was ejected from her car after being rear-ended on I-95 in Attleboro early on Saturday morning. Kumor lost control of her 2004 Ford Explorer when hit from behind by Samantha Lee Fletcher, 19, of Danvers, in the slow lane of traffic. The SUV is reported to have flipped over many times and Kumor was ejected from the vehicle. Authorities have confirmed that Kumor was not wearing a seatbelt and was confirmed dead when the emergency crew arrived. Her passenger, Carolyn P. Bibbo, 34, of Woonsocket, R.I., was trapped inside the wreckage and then taken to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I., for serious injuries. Fletcher was not injured in the accident.

The accident is under investigation and police are considering Fletcher’s speed as the cause of the accident. No charges have been made.

Our attorneys have been representing personal injury and accident victims for over 40 years. Feel free to contact us to speak to one of our experienced attorneys for a free consultation.

Sources:

Northborough woman killed in crash on I-95 in Attleborough this morning, The Boston Globe, February 12, 2011

Northborough woman killed in crash on I-95 in Attleboro, The Milford Daily News, February 12, 2011

Continue reading "Northborough Woman Dies in I-95 Accident" »

February 9, 2011

U.S. Department of Transportation Releases Findings on Study of Toyota Unintended Acceleration

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the findings of a study requested by Congress on the unintended acceleration in Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood assured that “We enlisted the best and brightest engineers to study Toyota’s electronics systems, and the verdict is in. There is no electronic-based cause for unintended high-speed acceleration in Toyotas.”

Under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the study was administered by NASA engineers, who, after ten months of exhaustive testing and research into the electronic operating systems of the car, came to the conclusion that sticky pedals and a design flaw of floor mats jamming pedals were the only verifiable causes of unintended acceleration. Since 2009, Toyota has recalled approximately eight-million vehicles to remedy these causes of unintended acceleration, in addition to paying $48.8 million in civil penalties.

Here in Massachusetts, owner of Expressway Toyota in Boston, Robert Boch said: “We are not the powerhouse that we were prior to the recalls...but this will certainly be a step in the right direction.’’ Within New England, there have been at least seven fatal car accidents resulting in ten deaths that have been attributed to Toyota drivers losing control of their vehicles because of unintended acceleration.

Sources:

US finds Toyota electronics weren’t to blame in crashes, The Boston Globe, February 9, 2011

U.S. Department of Transportation Releases Results From NHTSA-NASA Study of Unintended Acceleration in Toyota Vehicles, United States Department of Transportation, February 8, 2011

Acceleration questioned in fatal crashes, The Boston Globe.

Continue reading "U.S. Department of Transportation Releases Findings on Study of Toyota Unintended Acceleration" »

February 7, 2011

Woburn Teen Dies After Crash in Somerville

Early on Saturday morning, 19-year-old Christopher Ward of Woburn lost control of his car on I-93 in Somerville. He swerved off of the overpass and fell at least 30 feet onto Route 28 below. He later died at Massachusetts General Hospital.

State police reported that 31-year-old Lawrence Capriotti Jr. hit Ward’s car either when it first impacted the ground or directly after. He initially fled but then returned to the scene of the accident approximately an hour later. Although he does not face charges relating to Ward’s crash off of the overpass, police have charged him with leaving the scene of an accident, resulting in personal injury, and leaving the scene of an accident, resulting in property damage. The reason for Ward losing control of his car is unknown and the accident is still under investigation by state police.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers and young adults between the ages of 15 and 20 and account for more than one in three deaths in this age group.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident or have a question on a case, feel free to give us a call for a free consultation to speak to one of our experienced attorneys.

Sources:

Teen dies after overpass plummet, Boston Herald, February 6, 2011

A Comprehensive Approach to Teen Driver Safety, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, February 2011


Continue reading "Woburn Teen Dies After Crash in Somerville" »

February 2, 2011

I-95 Bridge Accident in Newburyport

Authorities are investigating a fatal accident on the Interstate-95 Whittier Bridge. Charles Moncousky, of North Hampton, NH, died on Monday when his car drove over the Northbound side of the bridge. His 2002 Toyota Camry fell over 90 feet into the Merrimack River. State police said that in the bridge's history, it is the first time that they can remember that a car has driven off. The bridge connects Massachusetts and New Hampshire for over 76,000 cars each day and is operated by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

The car went off the bridge near the Newburyport side of the river, in a section of the bridge where concrete protective barriers line the side of the bridge. Police spokesman David Procopio reported that it was not raining or snowing on the bridge at the time of the accident. The wheel’s tread and skid marks were clearly seen where the car ran up and over the barriers that were heavily covered with ice and snow.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency reminds winter drivers to “slow down…bridges and overpasses can freeze up sooner than roadways” and that the majority of winter deaths related to snow and ice occur in automobiles.

Source:

Probe continues into Fatal I-95 bridge accident, Eagle-Tribune, February 2, 2011

Continue reading "I-95 Bridge Accident in Newburyport" »

January 24, 2011

Weymouth Woman Seriously Injured in Hit & Run

Massachusetts State Police report that a Holbrook man was drunk when he fled the scene of a car crash yesterday that seriously injured a Weymouth woman on the Southeast Expressway in Dorchester. The accident forced the closing of three lanes of southbound traffic for three hours with only the left travel lane open for motorists.

Alyssa Connolly, 25, a passenger in a Toyota Corolla, was thrown from the car that went off the highway and slammed into a snow bank before rolling over and coming to rest on its roof. Connolly was taken to Boston Medical Center--her condition remains unknown.

The driver, Patrick Fay, 24, was driving south when the accident occurred near exit 13 in Dorchester shortly before 1 a.m. on Sunday. Trooper Sean Reardon apprehended Fay when he tried to run from the scene. Fay has been charged with drunk driving, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident after causing personal injury, speeding and failure to stay within marked lanes.

In 2009, there were 347 motor vehicle-related fatalities in Massachusetts. Thirty-nine percent of these deaths involved the use of alcohol or other drugs. For more information on Massachusetts' laws on drunk driving visit: mass.gov

Source:
Holbrook man charged with drunk driving in crash, The Patriot Ledger, January 23, 2011

January 17, 2011

Lincoln Woman Placed on Probation for Road Rage Incident

Medical receptionist Vanessa Viveiros of Lincoln was placed on 2 1/2 years of probation and made to participate in a first-offenders alcohol driver education program on Friday after being found guilty of driving to endanger and six counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon.

The Rhode Island woman admitted to driving drunk and road rage, causing a collision with a car with six occupants on Interstate 495 and nearly forcing a state trooper off the road.

According to her lawyer, John MacDonald, the incident began with a quarrel at a Providence nightclub that was sparked by the other driver which caused Viveiros to fly into an alcohol-induced rage and chase after the victim, repeatedly crashing into the rear of the victim's car as it drove down the highway.

"It's an unfortunate incident. She knows she made some poor choices that evening," MacDonald said.


State police say the crash occurred around 3 a.m. Trooper Michael Tryon had to take evasive action to avoid colliding with the vehicles as they spun out of control when he caught up to them on I-495.

Source:
Probation in road rage crash, The Sun Chronicle, January 15, 2011

January 12, 2011

Woburn Teen Dies After Crash in NH

New Hampshire State Police responded to an accident on I-93 Tuesday night involving five young Woburn residents in a rolled over Izuzu Trooper. Police suspect the car had hit a guard rail, causing it to rollover on the driver side. The driver, Kyle Ahearn, 19, and four passengers Joseph Briere, 19, Shshank Samual, 20, Ethan Ahern, 15, and Patrick Raistrick, 18, were rescued and treated by firefighters from Derry, NH.

All passengers except one, Joseph Briere, were treated for non-life-threatening injuries and transported by ambulance to nearby hospitals. According to police, Briere was airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital where he died later that night due to the injuries he sustained in the crash.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2008, SUVs had the highest passenger vehicle occupant fatality rate in rollovers of any vehicle type—5.96 per 100,000 registered vehicles. NHTSA publishes rollover safety ratings by make and model year, and tire ratings by brand. Those ratings can be found at http://www.safercar.gov.

Source:
Woburn teen killed in N.H. crash, Boston Herald, January 12, 2011

Auto Crashes, Insurance Information Institute, January 2011

January 3, 2011

State trooper and 3 others injured during crash in Palmer

State trooper, Steven Larocco, was struck in his vehicle yesterday morning while making a routine traffic stop on the Massachusetts Turnpike near Palmer, Massachusetts. The driver that hit Larocco, Robert Murangi, was cited by police as driving with an open container of alcohol.

Murangi rear-ended the police cruiser while it was parked between the median and left eastbound lane to investigate a stopped Jeep Liberty. Murangi's Dodge Avenger ran into the back of the cruiser and forced it into the Liberty. Larocco and the driver of the Liberty were sent to the hospital along with the two passengers in Murangi's Avenger. All were treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Earlier this summer, Colonel Marian J. McGovern, head of the Massachusetts state police, announced a trooper safety study after a series of incidents that saw five troopers struck and injured by motor vehicles – one of them, Sgt. Douglas Weddleton, fatally – in a five-week period. McGovern herself was was rear-ended in October 2010 on Route 20 in Shrewsbury by what turned out to be a repeat drunk driver with four prior convictions.


Source: Trooper, 3 others injured in crash, Boston Globe, January 3, 2011; Colonel McGovern Announces Trooper Safety Study, Mass.gov, July 22, 2010

Continue reading "State trooper and 3 others injured during crash in Palmer" »

January 1, 2011

Major blizzard causes 100-car pileup in Fargo, ND

A major snowstorm pummeled the Dakotas and Minnesota on New Years Eve causing a massive car pileup on I-94, shutting down both lanes of traffic between Jamestown and Fargo, North Dakota.

Cass County Sheriff's Capt. Rick Majerus said nearly 100 vehicles were involved in the pileup near Fargo. Some travelers were stranded in their vehicles for several hours before rescuers could get to them. Further down I-94 in Minnesota, officials reported two fatal car crashes resulting from road conditions.

In Massachusetts, residents were faced with a similar dilemma as the first major blizzard of the season impacted holiday travel plans, shutting down airports and train service along the East coast and slowing transportation on the roads to a halt in some areas. Because of the heavy snowfall, many areas are still struggling to keep the roads clear of ice and snow forcing residents to chance driving in dangerous conditions as they go back to work on Monday.

Source: Blizzard causes 100-car pileup near Fargo, N.D., USA TODAY, December 31, 2010

Continue reading "Major blizzard causes 100-car pileup in Fargo, ND" »

December 31, 2010

Adams Resident Dies in Pedestrian-Motor Vehicle Accident

A Massachusetts traffic accident occurring the day before Christmas claimed the life of a 85-year-old Adams resident. The incident marked Berkshire County’s third fatality resulting from a pedestrian-motor vehicle accident in two months. The victim was reportedly hit by a southbound vehicle while crossing Park Street. Police say he was not in a marked crosswalk.

Emergency responders took the injured pedestrian to Berkshire Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The 18-year-old woman who driving the car was not injured and has not been charged in connection with the fatal accident; however, the fatal auto accident is still being investigated.

According to federal data, somewhere in the country a pedestrian is injured in a traffic crash every seven minutes. Every 107 minutes, a pedestrian dies as the result of such crashes. The majority of these fatalities occur between 6 and 9pm and on weekends.

Source: Elderly man struck, killed, Berkshire Eagle, December 26, 2010

In harm's way: Many drivers ignore pedestrians in crosswalks, Patriot Ledger, June 22, 2010

Continue reading "Adams Resident Dies in Pedestrian-Motor Vehicle Accident" »

December 29, 2010

Massachusetts Police Investigating Fiery Car Crash That Killed a Marion Man

Earlier this month, Marion police responded to an emergency call about a car engulfed in flame near the Kittansett Golf Club. A 75-year-old man was trapped inside the vehicle and had died by the time emergency crews were able to remove him from the car. The body was taken by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the exact cause of death.

According to the results of a preliminary investigation, the man was driving south of Point Road when he hit a fire hydrant, rocks, and trees. The car accident victim was semiretired and had been working part-time as a business professor at UMASS Dartmouth. The roof of his home had been destroyed by a chimney fire earlier this year.

It is not known if either of the fires were accidental or intentional, but here in Massachusetts, the penalty for attempting to burn a building or structure is ten years in prison. The fine for burning personal property over $25 or a vehicle is three years or $500. Authorities are still investigating the fatal car crash.

Source: Marion man dies in fiery crash, WickedLocal.com, December 23, 2010

Continue reading "Massachusetts Police Investigating Fiery Car Crash That Killed a Marion Man" »

December 22, 2010

Massachusetts Auto Insurers Now Offer Pet Coverage in Case of Accident

The Commonwealth deregulated the car insurance industry two years ago, and since then, five insurers have added an optional pet injury insurance option for pet-lovers who want to cover their animals. Like traditional car insurance policies which cover the medical costs of those injured in motor vehicle accidents, these pet policies cover $500-$1,000 for veterinary bills with no deductible.

Customers of the Quincy-based Arbella Mutual Insurance can pay $20 annually for the “Pet Lover’s Endorsement,” which covers up to $500 to treat injuries sustained by a dog or cat in a car crash. If Fluffy or Fido died as a result of an accident, burial or disposal costs might also be covered. So far, hundreds of policy-holders have added pet coverage.

In Boston, the Angell Animal Medical Center treats an average of two or three animals injured in accidents per month. According to a spokesman for MSPCA-Angell, typical injuries include whiplash, fractured bones, and injuries from the impact of airbags or windshields.

NOTE: Mentioning the names of insurance companies and policies should not construed as an endorsement. We encourage you to comparison shop on your own before signing up for an insurance policy.

Source: Auto insurers take on pets, Boston Herald, December 19, 2010

Continue reading "Massachusetts Auto Insurers Now Offer Pet Coverage in Case of Accident" »

December 17, 2010

Whitmore Man Killed on the Road, Family Blames Ford

Earlier this week, the family of a Massachusetts man who died in a minivan accident spoke out against Ford Motor Co., saying the company didn’t publicize a vehicle recall widely enough. One week after Sean Bowman died, his family received a safety recall notice from Ford announcing that it was recalling over a half million older-model Windstars. The recall covered vans sold in 21 states where road salt can lead to rusted axles. Corroded metal could result in cracks and broken axles.

The Whitman man died after his vehicle’s rear axle cracked in half and the vehicle hit a building. According to Ford, there were seven accidents with three minor injuries as of September. The fatal accident occurred in October, and the auto company has declined to comment on this particular case.

However, Ford has recalled an additional 37,000 vans as of December 6. Cases like this require an experienced personal injury lawyer who can gather all the relevant evidence, consult with accident experts, and prepare the case for financial recovery.

Source: Mass. crash victim’s family blames Ford ‘stealth’ recall, Boston Herald, December 15, 2010

Continue reading "Whitmore Man Killed on the Road, Family Blames Ford" »

December 16, 2010

Brockton Car Crash Kills Local Teen

Early Saturday morning, a 16-year-old passenger died after his twin brother reportedly drove a 1999 Saturn into a utility pole. The pole snapped in half, trapping both boys inside the vehicle. A Brockton resident described hearing a loud noise when the Saturn hit the utility pole. She rushed outside to find a mangled car covered in shattered glass. The driver’s hand was caught between the door frame and the body of the car, and she talked to the car accident victims as they waited for emergency responders to arrive.

Firefighters spent half an hour cutting through the wreck before they were able to free the brothers from the vehicle. The injured driver was transported to Brockton Hospital and later transferred to Boston. He has been charged with several motor vehicle offenses, including using a motor vehicle without authorization, driving under the influence of alcohol, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and speeding. However, Brockton police captain said there could be additional charges filed following the investigation.

Car accidents are the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 16 and 20. Each year, thousands of teen drivers die of injuries sustained on the road, and male teen drivers are more than one and a half times more likely to be involved in a fatal auto accident.

Source: Brockton woman recounts efforts to help victims in fatal crash, EnterpriseNews.com, December 15, 2010

Continue reading "Brockton Car Crash Kills Local Teen" »

December 15, 2010

Tewksbury Driver Charged After Injuring Trooper in Crash

Following a Woburn car accident that injured a motorist and a state trooper, Massachusetts State Police have charged the 21-year-old motorist with negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to slow down for workers or equipment in the road, failure to obey signs and signals, and failure to wear a seatbelt.

The driver allegedly drove his sedan into a road construction set-up on Monday evening on Route 93 outside of Woburn, hitting a state trooper on paid detail in a marked cruiser. Authorities say the driver disregarded warning signs and hit the rear of the cruiser, followed by the right guardrail.

Emergency medical crews took the trooper by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was treated for injuries and released overnight. The driver was treated for minor injuries at Lahey Clinic in Burlington.

Here in Massachusetts, drivers cited for Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle are subject to a $250 fine. The fine for failure to wear a seatbelt is $25 for drivers or any person over the age of sixteen, plus an additional $25 fine for each passenger between the ages of twelve and sixteen who fails to wear a seatbelt.

Source: Tewksbury man charged in Woburn crash, WickedLocal.com, December 14, 2010

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December 12, 2010

Several Weekend Accidents, Some Fatal, as Roads Get Slippery

Fifteen car accidents were reported in the Waltham area on Sunday morning as a result of icy roads, causing warnings from Waltham police to stay at home if possible. The accidents included one six-car crash on Route 128 and a tractor trailer accident on the Route 20 rotary. Most of the accidents involved spin-outs, skidding, and steering into the Route 20 median. No major injuries were reported, and roads became less dangerous as the mixed precipitation turned to rain.

Although those involved in Sunday’s accidents were fortunate that no serious injuries occurred, others were not so lucky this weekend. There were three fatal accidents on Saturday, and four are dead as a result. A 16-year-old Westport male died in a Fall River crash on Route 24 after losing control of his Jeep Wrangler. A 20-year-old woman was thrown from her vehicle after a Walpole two-car accident on I-95. Two others were killed in a two-car crash on I-91 in Longmeadow. That accident happened when one of the cars was going north on the southbound side.

While not all of these accidents have been officially linked to weather, our car accident attorneys would like to take this opportunity to remind you to drive safely as we begin to see harsher weather conditions. Here in Massachusetts, we are no strangers to snow, ice and rain. All too often, this kind of weather causes drivers to skid and lose control of their vehicles. It is important to remember to take due care when driving in bad conditions. For example:

• Drive more slowly.
• Leave more space between your car and the car in front of you.
• Clear snow off of your car, and make sure your windshield isn’t foggy.


Although snow, ice and bad roads can make car accidents more likely to happen, we still have the responsibility to drive carefully.

Continue reading "Several Weekend Accidents, Some Fatal, as Roads Get Slippery" »

December 8, 2010

Trooper Hit by a Car on Fall River Highway

Christopher Kaszyk, a state trooper, was hit by a car on a Fall River highway Wednesday. The accident occurred where Route 97 merges onto Route 24.

The trooper was outside of his car helping with a previous single-car accident around 6:30 a.m. when a driver attempting to merge hit him as well as the car he had stopped to assist. Kaszyk was taken to Charlton Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. Police are investigating, and no charges have been filed.

We know that being a police officer is a risky job in terms of fighting crime, but it can easy to forget the personal injury dangers that come with being a cop. Officers are frequently injured in circumstances like this one or while on details like directing traffic. Chases, emergency responses and long hours patrolling in cruisers also increase officers’ chances of becoming involved in a serious crash. In fact, car accidents are the most common cause of police officer deaths. Recent statistics show that 35% of officer deaths were vehicle-related, with only 3% of those occurring during vehicular pursuits or chases. In addition Injured- On- Duty pay, police injured on duty may be able to collect other compensation.

If you have been injured in a car accident, call Altman & Altman to discuss your options with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Source: The Boston Globe, Trooper injured in Fall River highway accident

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December 6, 2010

Collision on Massachusetts Avenue Bridge Kills One

Last Wednesday evening, a Boston car accident killed a 79-year-old woman from Beverly and injured two others. The woman was declared dead at the scene. The collision occurred on the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge when a Lexus reportedly collided head-on with a taxi approaching in the opposite direction.

The driver of the Lexus, a 58-year-old man from Beverly, was hospitalized with serious injuries, as was the 46-year-old cab driver. State troopers closed the bridge for roughly two hours while an accident reconstruction team investigated the cause of the fatal crash.

Investigators have not indicated to the public if any charges will be filed. Massachusetts is a no-fault state, so drivers are typically covered by their own Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP); however, sometimes medical costs surpass PIP policy limits.

Source: One dead in Mass. Ave. bridge crash, Boston Herald, December 2, 2010

Woman Killed In Mass. Ave. Bridge Crash, The Boston Channel, December 1, 2010

Continue reading "Collision on Massachusetts Avenue Bridge Kills One" »

December 2, 2010

Beverly Woman Killed and Two Seriously Injured in Mass. Ave. Bridge Head-On Collision

Christina Anderson, a 79-year-old Beverly woman, was killed in a head-on collision yesterday. Cheryl Anderson-Young, a 58-year-old of Beverly, and Ibrahim Nabile, a 46-year-old of Malden, were seriously injured in the crash.

The accident occurred on Massachusetts Avenue Bridge in the Back Bay around 5:40 p.m. Anderson-Young, driving a 1997 Lexus travelling from Cambridge to Boston, crossed the line and crashed into Nabile’s 2008 Ford Crown Victoria taxi. Anderson was declared dead at the scene, while Anderson-Young was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Nabile was taken to Boston Medical Center. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Head-on collisions like this one frequently cause serious and fatal injuries. There are two ways that head-on collisions can happen. As was the case here, a driver can fail to stay in his/her own lane and go forward into oncoming traffic. A head-on collision can also happen in a wrong-way type of scenario where a driver ventures down a one way in the wrong direction, enters the highway on an off-ramp exit instead of the on-ramp, etc.

Usually when there is a lane departure head-on collision, the cause is swerving, driver distraction, inattention or fatigue, or passing other cars in an unsafe manner. Head-on collisions can result in catastrophic injuries including spinal and head injuries, serious fractures, internal injuries, and more. If you have been hurt in a head-on collision, our Massachusetts car accident lawyers can tell you whether you have a claim, investigate, and begin building your case for recovery.

Source: The Boston Globe, Beverly woman killed, 2 hurt in crash

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December 1, 2010

Car Crashes into a Chicopee Building for the Second Time in Three Days

A car crashed into a Chicopee bedroom around 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday. William Flores and his girlfriend woke up to debris and the car inches away at the foot of the bed. Neither the residents nor their two dogs were injured, but firefighters are concerned about the stability of the home’s front wall.

According to police, the car driven by 66-year-old Patricia Naimey smashed into a street light, a stop sign, and a fire hydrant before hitting the house. They are investigating how she lost control.

This was the second time within a three-day period that a car hit a Chicopee building. On Sunday, 43-year-old Kimmy Dubuque was killed inside a Cumberland Farms when an SUV driven by 81-year-old Edwin Skowyra crashed through the front of the store. In addition to the shopper who was fatally injured, another customer, the clerk and the driver were injured. Police say that the car was travelling through the intersection at Front and Grove Streets and then went over a barrier and through the store. Police are looking into the possibility that a medical issue caused the driver to lose control.

Sources:

Cbs3springfield.com: Chicopee police release names in fatal crash; Continue to investigate cause

Cbs3springfield.com: Car smashes into Chicopee bedroom

Drivers can lose control of their cars for many reasons. Speed, inattention, and mechanical defects are among the common causes. The possibility of a medical issue in this second incident raises the issue of physical infirmities. These kinds of infirmities can be considered in determining the reasonableness of conduct. For example, if this driver suffered an unforeseeable heart attack that caused him to lose control of his SUV, he would not be responsible. If, on the other hand, he knew that was subject to some medical condition that would cause him to lose control of the vehicle but drove anyways, he could be liable in a negligence action.

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December 1, 2010

No Injuries Reported in Avon Car Rollover

On Monday afternoon, a car rolled over on Route 24 in Avon, Massachusetts. Police said the 20-year-old driver refused medical treatment following the traffic accident. The Brockton man was reportedly driving a 2000 Ford Mustang. The car accident occurred at 1:52pm near the Route 27 exit, and police said the scene had been cleared by 2:30pm.

The cause of this Avon car crash remains under investigation.

Although there were no injuries in this instance, crashes involving cars, bikes, trucks, SUVs, or pedestrians can result serious and even deadly injuries. With insurance claims for personal injury, lost wages, and damage to your vehicle, these cases can pose a number of complicated legal challenges that require the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Source: Car rolls over on Route 24 in Avon, no injuries, The Enterprise, November 29, 2010

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November 29, 2010

Andover Teen Hit by Car on Way to School Bus

A 14-year-old Andover girl was hit by a car on her way to the bus stop today, Andover police told the Boston Globe. The accident occurred near 200 Andover St. at 7:15 a.m. The girl was sent to Lawrence General Hospital, and her condition is not yet known.

The driver was a 17-year-old girl who has been charged with a school bus violation and impeded operation.

As this news illustrates, car accidents can happen at any given time. You can be on your way to school one minute and be suffering from a serious personal injury the next.

It also raises another common theme in Massachusetts car accidents: teen driver safety (or lack thereof). Teen drivers are uniquely prone to car accidents for many reasons. Inexperience, immaturity, and the sense of invincibility that commonly comes with youth can contribute to accidents involving teen drivers. Teens can also be more susceptible to peer pressure and image concerns and therefore speed, not wear seatbelts, text while driving, or even drink and drive. Because of these and other factors, teenaged drivers frequently find themselves involved in car accidents.

The fact that this teen driver was charged with a school bus violation and impeded operation could indicate that she was negligent or reckless. In Massachusetts, the violation of a statute or ordinance is evidence of negligence where there is a causal connection between the violation and the harm and that kind of harm is the kind that the statute was meant to prevent. Even though this driver is a minor, driving is an adult activity and she will be held to the same standard of care as an adult.

Source: The Boston Globe, Teen struck by vehicle in Andover

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November 24, 2010

NHTSA Deciding Whether to Investigate Honda Unintended Acceleration

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is determining whether to open a full-blown investigation into possible Honda Accord hybrid acceleration problems. An unidentified woman filed a complaint with the federal agency asking it to investigate after she was injured and her passenger died in a crash in her 2005 Accord Hybrid. She said that her car crashed into oncoming traffic after losing break power and accelerating on its own. Many documents on the NHTSA website indicate that several have been injured in similar accidents in these cars, according to the Boston Herald.

Similarly, Toyota has received thousands of unintended acceleration complaints in recent years. More specifically, since 1999, 2,262 incidents involving sudden and unintended acceleration of Toyota cars have been recorded. Last year alone, Toyota had to recall about 10 million vehicles, and after the recalls, Toyota faced hundreds of law suits. The unintended acceleration problem came under even more public scrutiny when an off -duty California police officer was recently killed in one of these crashes.

If the NHSTA decides to open the Honda investigation, the results should be interesting. In August, the agency released its preliminary findings about possible Toyota defects, and driver error (hitting the gas instead of the break) was determined to be the main cause of the failed breaks and unintended acceleration. So, time will tell whether these Hondas are defective in design or manufacture or whether drivers are misapplying the pedals.

Source: The Boston Herald, NHTSA reviews claim of Honda acceleration

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November 22, 2010

Police Investigating Fatal Pittsfield Car Accident

A 70-year-old Pittsfield man who was involved in a motor vehicle accident last month has died at Albany Medical Center, apparently from serious injuries he sustained in the October 19 accident.

Pittsfield police say they are continuing to investigate the fatal accident, which involved a 49-year-old woman who was cited for failing to stop for a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk. They are asking anyone who witnessed the pedestrian accident to call (413) 448-9700.

Authorities are reviewing the circumstances around the crash to determine if the driver will be held criminally responsible. Cases where a driver may be found criminal responsible include when the driver is found to have been driving too fast, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or driving recklessly with willful and wanton disregard for the probability that the driving may cause an accident. Driver negligence is considered less severe than reckless driving.

Source: Pittsfield Fatal Accident Police continue investigation, The Berkshire Eagle, November 19, 2010

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November 16, 2010

Grafton Car Crash Kills Two Massachusetts Men

According to NECN and other news sources, a single-vehicle accident early Sunday morning killed two 21-year-old men and seriously injured another. The driver reportedly lost control over his 2005 Nissan Maxima and was killed when it rolled over, also killing one passenger.

Another passenger was thrown from the vehicle and sustained serious injuries. The Natick man was taken by ambulance to UMass Medical Center in Worcester. Massachusetts State Police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the rollover accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that rollover accidents are among the most serious types of accidents. About 3% of all passenger car and light trucks and vans accidents involve a rollover; however, about one-third of all traffic fatalities involve rollovers. SUVs have the highest rollover fatality rate (59%), while passenger cars have the lowest (23%).

Sources:
Two men die in early morning accident on Mass Pike, NECN, November 14, 2010
Single-car crash kills 2 on Mass. Pike, MyFoxBusiness.com, November 14, 2010
Report from NHTSA

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November 15, 2010

Driver in Fatal Connecticut Car Accident Sues Victim's Parents

David Weaving, a 48-year-old Connecticut man who struck and killed a 14-year-old bicyclist, is suing the child’s parents for letting the child ride without a helmet. It is a countersuit to a filing by the family alleging negligence. Both Weaving and the family are seeking more than $15,000 in damages.

Weaving is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for manslaughter.

According to prosecutors, the fatal crash occurred when Weaving passed a car at more than 80 mph in a 45 mph zone. Weaving asserts that he was driving at the speed limit. Weaving was previously convicted of drunk driving four times before the crash.

Source: The Boston Herald, Driver in fatal crash sues victim’s parents over boy’s lack of helmet

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November 11, 2010

Authorities Blame Ice for Several Massachusetts Highways Accidents

Icy road conditions may have played a role in several Massachusetts car accidents that occurred over the weekend. Police offers were injured in two of those crashes.

At about 6am Monday morning, Falmouth police officer Richard Everton sustained non-life threatening injuries when his cruiser spun out of control and flipped over. Everton was responding to a crash on Route 28.

According to a state police spokesman, a trooper sustained minor injuries in separate car crash in Millbury. Because icy roads create dangerous driving conditions, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Registry of Motor Vehicles recommends driving at reduced speeds and never locking your brakes when there’s ice. Also make sure that your fuel tank is at least half fuel to reduce the likelihood of it freezing.

Source: Several crashes reported on icy Mass. highways, Boston Globe, November 8, 2010

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November 9, 2010

Fatal Car Rollover Crash in Raynham Under Investigation

A two-vehicle accident on Route 495 in Raynham killed a Brockton man earlier Monday morning. The 57-year-old man reportedly lost control of his 2002 Nissan Pathfinder sport utility vehicle and hit the guardrail. A preliminary investigation also revealed that he swerved into the path of a 1999 Freightliner tractor trailer unit. The impact caused the SUV to roll over onto its roof, and the driver was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

The 56-year-old driver of the tractor-trailer did not sustain injuries in the crash. The roadway was wet with rain at the time of the fatal accident, but it’s unclear whether those conditions were a factor. Troop H of the Massachusetts State Police is investigating the cause and circumstances surrounding the crash.

Here in Massachusetts, drivers involved in a crash where the damage is at least $1,000 or where at least one person is injured are required to file a motor vehicle crash operator report within five days, even if a police officer was on the scene. The report includes information on weather conditions, injuries, vehicles involved, and other aspects of the crash.

Source: UPDATE: State Police investigate fatal crash in Raynham, WickedLocal.com, November 8, 2010

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November 8, 2010

Brockton Man Killed in SUV Rollover

A 57-year-old man from Brockton was killed this morning when his 2002 Nissan Pathfinder hit a guardrail and rolled over on I-495 in Raynham. A tractor- trailer unit driven by 46-year-old Kevin Anthony of Woburn hit the SUV when it rolled into a traffic lane.

Police are still investigating the cause of the crash, but it happened when the roads were wet.

Even though some car crashes result only in damage to property, many like this one cause death or serious injury like spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, broken bones, severed limbs, and burns. Car accidents can happen at any time, blindsiding people on a routine Monday-morning commute. At Altman & Altman LLP, we have successfully handled thousands of personal injury and wrongful death cases arising from car crashes.

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November 8, 2010

Single Vehicle Crash in Mansfield Kills Taunton Man

A car accident killed a Massachusetts man last Tuesday evening around 10pm. According to police, the 62-year-old Taunton resident was driving a 2004 Honda CRV on Route 495 when he lost control of the vehicle and veered into the media strip. The Honda reportedly rolled over, ejecting the driver, who was later taken by ambulance to Attleboro’s Sturdy Memorial Hospital. He was pronounced dead from injuries sustained in the rollover accident.

Following the fatal car crash, the left lane of Route 495 was closed for about two hours. Police say there were no other vehicles involved in the accident, but it’s unclear what caused it. The accident reconstruction team is working to uncover a cause. Alcohol and speed are often factors in motor vehicle accidents, so they will be probing the scene of the accident to see if those may be causes.

Here in Massachusetts, the minimum fine for speeding is $50. If the driver exceeds the speed limit by more than 10 mph, they may be subject to a fine of an additional $10 per mph over the speed limit.

Source: Taunton man killed in rollover crash in Mansfield, Taunton Gazette, November 3, 2010

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November 5, 2010

Massachusetts Car Accident Lawyers Discuss International Safety Stats

According to a recent article in USA Today, an American traveler dies in a car crash on foreign roads every 36 hours on average. The publication analyzed State Department data from January 1, 2003 and June 2010. Nationality aside, someone is injured or killed every six seconds on the roads of the world, according to global safety initiative Make Roads Safe.

The World Health Organization warns that the number of people internationally who die each year in traffic accidents will rise from 1.3 million to 2.4 million by 2030 unless actions are taken to make roads safer.

That’s why the General Assembly of the United Nations has proclaimed 2011-2020 as the Decade of Actions for Road Safety. A global plan to reduce the number of car crashes internationally is anticipated to be unveiled next May. The doctor who’s in charge of developing the plan says will focus on boosting safety in low- and middle-income countries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that Americans who are injured overseas seek medical attention immediately and contact the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate if needed.

Source: U.S. traveler dies on foreign road every 36 hours on average, USA Today, October 22, 2010

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November 5, 2010

Driver Sideswipes Cars on Commonwealth Ave.; 1 Injured

One person was injured on Thursday when a driver went down the wrong side of Commonwealth Avenue near Fenway and sideswiped between 5 and 10 cars, according to the Boston Globe. Citizens detained the driver until police arrived. A spokesperson for the Boston Police Department said that she was not sure if the driver was arrested. The accident is still being investigated.

Car crashes can involve very serious injuries, and the resulting medical costs can considerably exceed Personal Injury Protection insurance and the coverage that your own medical insurance provides.

Persons injured in crashes could be entitled to compensation from any and all negligent parties. To determine who the negligent parties may be, the best approach is to investigate the scene, retain car accident and medical experts, and examine all of the evidence. Therefore, it is important to call a personal injury attorney right away.

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October 29, 2010

Family of Newton Teen Who Died in a Car Crash Creates Adam’s Promise

Two months ago, 17-year-old Adam London died in a single-vehicle car accident just a few blocks from his home in Newton, Massachusetts. The teen driver reportedly lost control of his vehicle and was not wearing his seat belt when he crashed into a tree.

In response to the tragic car crash, London’s family has created “Adam’s Promise,” a campaign aimed at raising awareness about safer driving habits. They're also traveling around to schools, spreading awareness about the importance of safe driving. Hundreds of students and adults have signed the pledge, honoring London’s memory and vowing not to engage in risky behaviors on the road. Those interested in signing the pledge can do so at www.apromisetoadam.org.

In Massachusetts, several dozen teen drivers die in traffic accidents each year. Nationwide, junior operators account for 13% of motor vehicle crash deaths and 10% of the population. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that the economic cost of police-reported crashes for drivers ages 15-20 was $40.8 billion in 2002.

Source: Family of Newton teen killed in car crash to share his story in Brookline, Wicked Local Newton, October 27, 2010

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October 21, 2010

Peabody Car Accident Injures Three, Driver Charged

On Friday evening, an alleged drunk driving car crash sent three people to the hospital, including the driver. The 24-year-old man from Nahant was listed in good condition at Massachusetts General Hospital but, according to police, he faces charges of drunk driving and driving to endanger. He will be summoned to court for those charges and also the charge of driving with a suspended license.

Several people called police about the traffic accident, which occurred around 11:55pm on Friday evening and involved a Mazda3. In addition to injuring the driver and his two passengers, the accident also damaged a utility pole. All of those injured in the accident were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Here in Massachusetts, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of five months in jail for a third conviction of operating under the influence and one year for a fourth offense. It is unclear if the driver in this case had prior OUI convictions or if his driver’s license had been suspended for some other reason.

Source: Man faces charges in Peabody crash, Salem News, October 18, 2010

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October 19, 2010

Revere Car Accident Kills Peabody Woman

Last Wednesday morning, a Massachusetts car crash claimed the life of a 61-year-old woman from Peabody. The driver apparently lost control of the vehicle, which ended up in a river near Route 107 in Revere after a wheel feel off the car.

Two passerby were able to help a female passenger to safety, but the driver went down with the car after being unable to get out in time. In the background of the 911 emergency call, one could hear screaming for the driver to roll down her window.

The car was pulled from the water a few hours later, and investigators are searching for an explanation of what happened with the car’s wheel that caused the fatal accident.

Here in Massachusetts, the Good Samaritan law protects non-medical providers who make good faith efforts to help others in distress provided there is no willful or wanton misconduct or gross negligence. A different set of standards govern physicians, nurses, and other medical professionsals.

Source: Woman dies after car crashes into water in Revere, Mass., NECN.com, October 13, 2010

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October 13, 2010

Massachusetts Car Accident Kills Arlington Couple, No Other Injuries

On Monday, a Wellesley car crash on Route 128 claims the lives of a husband and wife from Arlington. The 80-year-old husband was reportedly driving a 1997 Dodge van when it veered off the road and hit the guardrail. He was taken to the hospital via helicopter and died of injuries sustained in the car accident the following day. His wife, who was sitting in the passenger side of the van, was pronounced dead upon arrival.

The motor vehicle accident occurred around 3:30pm and is still being investigated by State Police, the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section and the State Police Crime Scene Services Section.

Because this is a single vehicle accident and the driver passed away, auto insurance companies won’t be adjusting anyone’s premiums as a result. However, here in Massachusetts, insurance companies generally presume more than in 50% fault in cases such as when there’s a collision with a parked vehicle, a rear end collision, an out of lane collision, or when the vehicle is traveling in the wrong direction.

Source: Arlington Couple Killed in Route 128 Crash, Wellesley Patch, October 12, 2010

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October 7, 2010

Massachusetts Man Dies in Single-Vehicle Crash

On Wednesday morning, a Hyde Park man was involved in a car accident that took his life. The 32-year-old man was driving a 1993 Infiniti sedan when the vehicle reportedly crashed into a concrete barrier, flipping over and landing on its roof between two toll booths on Interstate 95.

State police freed the accident victim from his vehicle by cutting his seat belt. Authorities believe speed was a factor, but as of late Wednesday evening, they were still investigating the car crash.

Auto insurance companies typically handle single-vehicle accidents differently from accidents involving several vehicles. In this case, the driver unfortunately did not survive the accident, but in cases where the driver does survive, they are typically assumed to be at fault because no other vehicles were involved. However, in some cases, an investigation and witnesses might prove that the driver swerved to avoid another vehicle or a pedestrian.

Source: Driver killed in crash at Hampton tolls identified, Boston Herald, October 7, 2010

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October 6, 2010

Tolland Woman Killed in Massachusetts Crash, Driver Sentenced

The driver involved in a Massachusetts car accident on Route 8 that killed a 29-year-old Tolland woman has been sentenced. The crash occurred in March 2009 when the driver, a 48-year-old Connecticut woman who was found to be operating under the influence of alcohol, collided head-on with the victim’s vehicle.

After pleading guilty to charges including motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of alcohol, she was sentenced to six to ten years in prison for drunk driving. Because she apologized to the family of the victim and has no prior record, her lawyer requested a lighter sentence.

Here in Massachusetts, defendants found guilty of vehicular homicide while operating under the influence are subject to mandatory jail time. The passage of Melanie’s Law means stricter penalties on drunk driving, including a mandatory minimum of two and a half years in state prison and a maximum of up to 15 years. Drivers may also have their license revoked and get substantial fines. Manslaughter by motor vehicle carries a minimum mandatory jail sentence of five years.

Source: Conn. woman gets prison time for fatal Mass. crash, Boston Herald, October 5, 2010

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October 4, 2010

Will Massachusetts’ Texting Ban Reduce Auto Crashes?

Massachusetts’ text messaging ban went into effect last week. The goal of the ban is to reduce the number of auto accidents caused by distracted drivers.

However, according to research released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, texting bans don’t actually reduce the number of roadway accidents. In fact, in the four states studied by the HLDI, three out of four states experienced an increase in car accidents after enacting a text messaging ban. HLDI researchers hypothesize that this increase may be due to drivers who continue texting but keep their cell phones low and out of sight, taking their eyes even further from the road. Some also say that texting bans take the focus away from other important safety measures.

However, some safety officials say the ban can be effective when paired with strict enforcement. Here in Massachusetts, drivers caught texting while driving are subject to a $100 fine for the first offense and $250 (plus a 180-day suspension) for the second offense. While it’s too soon to tell if Massachusetts’ text messaging ban will prove effective, we’ll be interested in seeing how the issue unfolds.

Source: Text Messaging While Driving Laws: Do They Decrease Safety?, IEEEE Spectrum, September 30, 2010

The Massachusetts car crash attorneys at Altman & Altman can answer your legal questions if you have been injured in a bus, car, or truck accident.

September 28, 2010

Ayer Car Crash Seriously Injures Groton Man

Just before midnight on Sunday evening, Ayer police received word of a single vehicle auto accident on Washington Street near the former Ayer fire headquarters. The car crash involved a 25-year-old man from Groton.

The driver, who was not wearing his seat belt, reportedly hit a telephone pole. He was found unconscious in his blue 2008 Mustang with what an Ayer police lieutenant described as “obvious head injury.” The Ayer Fire Department took him to Nashoba Valley Medical Center. He was later transported to Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston and was listed in critical condition as of Monday afternoon.

Authorities say they are still investigating the cause of the motor vehicle accident.

Source: Groton man critical after Ayer crash, Nashoba Publishing, September 27, 2010

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September 25, 2010

Fall River Intersection Tops List of Most Dangerous Intersections in Southeastern Massachusetts

The intersection of Plymouth Avenue and Rodman Street in Fall River is number one on a new list of dangerous intersections in southeastern Massachusetts. According to the report, the intersection averages a crash every nine days.

The study was conducted by the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District. The data which was used was gathered from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

The report found that one of the more serious problems plaguing the area is red-light runners. The number of crashes caused by drivers running red lights more than doubled between 2006 and 2008.

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September 24, 2010

Plymouth Man Seriously Injured in Brockton Motorcycle Accident

This past Thursday afternoon, a motorcyclist sustained serious injuries when he was struck by a 2005 Nissan. The crash occurred at 1 p.m. at the intersection of Main Street and Forest Avenue in Brockton.

The motorcyclist sustained serious injuries to his left leg, which was pinned underneath the Nissan after the collision. The injured 23-year-old man was taken by ambulance to Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital and was then transferred to New England Medical Center in Boston.

A preliminary investigation has revealed that the driver of the Nissan was traveling on Forest Avenue when he stopped at a stop sign and took a left, colliding with the motorcyclist. According to the local authorities, the Nissan driver, a 23-year-old Taunton resident, will be cited for failure to yield and operating a vehicle with a suspended driver’s license.

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September 23, 2010

Two Injured in Arlington Car Accident Involving a Taxi Cab

Two individuals were rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital following a car accident in Arlington. The accident occurred on Milford Road near Mystic Valley Parkway at approximately 7 a.m. Monday morning. Arlington firefighters arrived at the scene to find a 2001 Ford Crown Victoria taxi cab in a wooded area off of the road. The taxi cab was on fire and the flames were beginning to spread to the surrounding trees and bushes.

According to the Massachusetts State Police, the cab driver was traveling at a high rate of speed when his vehicle went off the road. The cab driver then struck another vehicle, a Toyota Camry, in the rear before completely losing control of the cab.

There was a passenger inside of the cab at the time of the accident. The passenger was thrown forward into the front seat of the cab and was inside of the vehicle when it caught fire. Luckily, an MBTA Green Line instructor saw the vehicle and pulled the passenger from the flame engulfed taxi cab. The cab driver was found lying by the side of Mystic River and was suffering from serious injuries.

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September 21, 2010

Two-Vehicle Accident in Arlington Injures Two

On Monday morning, an Arlington car accident sent two people to Massachusetts General Hospital. According to a report from the Arlington Fire Department and State Police, the two-vehicle accident occurred on Medford Street around 7:03am.

When firefighters arrived at the scene of the car crash, they found a 2001 Ford Crown Victoria tax cab engulfed in flames in a wooded area near Mystic Valley Parkway. A police spokesman said the taxi’s driver had driven off the road, then re-entered traffic, rear-ending a 2003 Toyota Camry. The taxi driver apparently lost control of the vehicle, which crossed the roadway, crashed into a tree, and caught on fire.

Upon impact, the taxi’s passenger was thrown into the front seat. An MBTA Green Line inspector reportedly pulled him from the vehicle while it was on fire. The taxi’s driver suffered injuries to his head, legs, and other extremities. He was cited with operating a vehicle on a suspended license, crossing marked lines, and reckless operation of a motor vehicle.

The driver and passenger were both taken to the Massachusetts General Hosital by Advanced Life Support.

Source: UPDATED: Two injured in Medford Street crash Monday morning, WickedLocal.com, September 20, 2010

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September 16, 2010

Mattapoisett Car Crash Injures State Trooper

Yesterday morning, a Massachusetts state trooper was injured while working a construction detail in Mattapoisett. The auto accident occurred around 8:35am when a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am slammed into the back of the trooper’s cruiser, resulting in significant damage to both vehicles.

The names of the driver and the trooper have not been released to the public; however a State Police spokesman said both were take to St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford for non-life-threatening injuries.

The cause of the traffic accident remains under investigation.

Source: Trooper injured at highway construction detail, Boston Globe, September 15, 2010

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September 15, 2010

Jeep Rollover on Sandy Neck Beach Leaves 1 Dead

This past week, a Jeep rolled over on Sandy Neck Beach in West Barnstable, landing in the ocean. There were three individuals traveling in the Jeep at the time of the accident. One of the passengers, a 39-year-old resident of Forestdale, was pronounced dead at the scene.

One of the other passengers, who is also a resident of Forestdale, was taken to Cape Cod Hospital where he received treatment for a broken leg.

The third passenger in the Jeep was not injured. This man, a 28-year-old from Sandwich, was the only one of the three in the Jeep who was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

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September 13, 2010

Revere Car Accident Kills Two People, Driver was Allegedly Fleeing Police

Last month, a Saturday morning two-car crash in Revere killed both drivers. Police say one of the drivers involved in the traffic accident was fleeing police when he crashed his car into another vehicle.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office said the pursuit came after an incident between two drivers was reported to police. Chelsea police chased one of the drivers into Revere; however, they stopped pursuing him due to the high risk involved. When police turned around, they saw that they driver had been throw from his vehicle after hitting another car. The other driver was thrown from his car as well. Both were pronounced dead soon afterwards.

The accident occurred on Saturday, August 28 around 1:30am and shut down Route 16 eastbound for several hours.

Source: Suspect Crashes Into Car In Revere, 2 Killed, WBZTV.com, August 28, 2010

If you or a loved one has been involved in a traffic accident, contact our Massachusetts auto accident attorneys to discuss your legal options.

September 10, 2010

Massachusetts Traffic Fatality Attorneys Discuss Roadway Statistics

Statistics released by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration show that deaths from roadway accidents are on the decline. Here in Massachusetts, the number of deaths on all roads declined from 476 in 2004 to 363 in 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available. In Norfolk County, motor vehicle deaths dropped from 46 to 27 during that same period.

Traffic experts attribute this trend to the use air bags and other automotive technology, as well as greater enforcement of traffic laws.

However, the number of Massachusetts fatalities on major arterial roads and interstate highways actually increased from 2003 to 2008. Experts say these major roads pose additional hazards because of faster speeds and the fact that many motorists routinely drive 10 mph or more over the speed limit but can’t react fast enough to avert an accident.

Source: Safer by the mile?, The Sun Chronicle, September 5, 2010

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September 10, 2010

Three Teenagers injured When SUV Collides with Tractor-Trailer

Three teenagers sustained injuries when the SUV they were traveling in collided with a tractor-trailer. The accident occurred on Boston Road in Sutton at approximately 1 p.m. on Thursday.

The Dodge SUV, which was being operated by an 18-year-old Sutton resident, crossed the center line on Boston Road and crashed into a Coca-Cola truck.

Rescue crews extracted the driver of the SUV with the Jaws of Life. The driver was then airlifted by Boston Medflight to UMass Memorial Medical Center – University Campus in Worchester. The young man’s condition was has not yet been made available.

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September 4, 2010

Two Killed in Fatal Car Accident in Westport

Two motorists were killed this past Tuesday afternoon in Westport. The fatal car accident, which occurred on Route 195, involved two-vehicles.

One of the drivers, a 75-year-old resident of Fall River, suffered severe injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The other motorist, a 61-year-old woman from Somerset, was airlifted to Rhode Island hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, the woman succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at the hospital later that evening.

The accident occurred at approximately 4:25 p.m. According to the preliminary investigation, the individual from Fall River was traveling in the eastbound lane of Route 195 in a Nissan Quest when the vehicle crossed the grass median onto the westbound lanes. The Nissan then struck the 2007 Chevrolet Equinox being operated by the Somerset women.

The accident caused that section of the highway to be shut down for approximately two hours. The Massachusetts State Police are currently investigating the automobile accident.

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September 2, 2010

Hit-and-run Driver Collides with a Police Cruiser, Injuring a Civilian

The Massachusetts State Police are currently on the lookout for a hit-and-run driver that struck a police cruiser and injured a civilian. The accident occurred on I-395 in Chicopee early Saturday morning.

A state police trooper was stooped on the side of the Chicopee stretch of the highway near exit 4 assisting a motorist with a flat tire. A few moments later, as the motorist stood by the driver’s side window of the state police cruiser speaking with the trooper, an SUV swerved into the breakdown lane on I-395, colliding with not only the state police cruiser, but also the pedestrian standing at the window.

Following the accident, the SUV fled the scene of the crash. Police have described the SUV as being light in color and it will likely have heavy front-end damage as the result of the accident.

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September 2, 2010

Sedan Injures Boy on Bike in Lowell Traffic Accident

On Monday, a traffic accident in Lowell, Massachusetts sent a 12-year-old boy with the hospital with serious head injuries. The boy was riding his bike when Williard Street around 2pm when he was reportedly hit by a red Sedan. Witnesses said the boy went flying and the car crash sounded like two vehicles colliding.

Police said the bike accident victim was airlifted from the scene of the bike accident to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The victim was not wearing a bike helmet and sustained serious head and neck injuries.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the Lowell bike accident.

Source: Boy struck by car while riding his bike in Lowell, WHDH.com, August 30, 2010

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August 31, 2010

Moped Rider Seriously Injured Following Collision with an Alleged Drunk Driver

A Lynn man was seriously injured when the moped which he was operating was struck by an allegedly drunk driver. The collision took place at the intersection of North Street and Liberty Hill Avenue in Salem at approximately 1:30 a.m. this past Saturday morning.

Following the accident, the driver of the moped was transported to North Shore Medical Center before being transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

The operator of the moped was struck by an allegedly drunk Peabody woman driving a Volkswagen Passat. Police reported that they smelled an odor of alcohol on the 25-year-old driver’s breath and that her speech was slurred and her eyes were both bloodshot and glassy.

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August 30, 2010

Two Killed in high-speed collision in Revere

Saturday morning, a police chase that began in Chelsea resulted in the deaths of two individuals in Revere. The preliminary investigation states that the suspect was being pursued by the Chelsea Police Department prior to the collision.

The two vehicles collided when the driver, who was fleeing from the police moments before, ran a red light and struck a vehicle driven by a 65-year-old Revere man.

Following the crash, which occurred at the intersection of Revere Parkway and Route 145, both drivers were ejected from their cars. One of the men was pronounced dead at the scene while the other was pronounced dead at Whidden Memorial Hospital in Everett.

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August 26, 2010

City of Quincy to Charge Insurance Companies for Responding to Car Crash

Earlier this month, the mayor of Quincy, Massachusetts signed an ordinance to bill insurance companies if you’re at fault in an motor vehicle accident and the fire fighters respond. The insurance company would be billed for the cost of the fire department’s response.

Mayor Thomas Koch says the city needs to find cost-effective ways to provide the services that people expect. He adds that if your vehicle hits a light pole insurance companies already gets billed for the cost of replacing the light pole, so this measure is an extension of that.

Not surprisingly, this decision is unpopular among car insurance companies, who say it adds an unnecessary fee which could get passed onto Massachusetts motorists in the form of higher premiums. Huntington Beach, California has adopted a similar law.

Sources: Quincy will bill for car crashes, NECN.com, August 20, 2010

First California, Now Massachusetts, Accident Taxes Appear Nationwide, Out of the Storm News, August 23, 2010

Injured on the road? Our Massachusetts auto accident lawyers can help guide you the through the accident claims process and explain your legal options.

August 25, 2010

14 -wheel Trash Truck Collides with Honda Civic in Beverly, Killing the Driver

An 81-year-old Beverly Farms woman operating a Honda Civic collided with a 14-wheel trash truck around noon yesterday afternoon. The operator of the Honda crossed the center line on Hart Street in Beverly and was struck by the truck as a result.

The local authorities have stated the victim of the crash lost consciousness following the accident and was taken by ambulance to Beverly hospital following the administration of CPR by firefighters at the scene of the crash.

According to the Beverly Police Department, the operator of the Honda was conscious and talking to rescue workers immediately after the crash, but lost consciousness moments after the firefighters arrived. The rescue workers utilized a portable defibrillator to try and revive the woman. Beverly Hospital reported that the 81-year-old woman passed away yesterday afternoon as a result of the injuries which she sustained in the crash.

The trash truck was being operated by a 47-year-old Rockport man when the accident occurred. The driver of the trash truck sustained a minor wrist injury in the collision. The truck belongs to a Peabody hauling and recycling company.

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August 24, 2010

Single Vehicle Crash Kills Newton Teen

According to authorities, a rising senior and lacrosse player at Newton North High School died in a one-car crash on Monday evening. The 17-year-old male could not be revived by emergency response teams after his car hit a tree. The motor vehicle accident reportedly occurred at 9:46pm on Bellevue Street in Newton.

He was remembered as a talented athlete who made the varsity lacrosse team his sophomore year. He had also worked as a camp counselor at the Garden City lacrosse camp.

The cause of the fatal car crash is still being investigated.

Source: Newton North High School student dies in crash, Boston.com, August 24, 2010

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August 24, 2010

Several Injured and One Killed Following a Four Vehicle Car Crash in Lexington

This past week, a four vehicle car accident occurred on Route 2 in Lexington. The accident occurred around 2:30 p.m., when a vehicle headed eastbound crossed over the median into oncoming westbound traffic.

The vehicle then collided head –on with three automobiles driving in the westbound lanes on Route 2. The accident occurred at a high rate of speed. The driver of the vehicle which crossed the median and struck the other cars was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to state police, another individual involved in the accident was in “very bad shape” and was transported to the hospital for treatment of the injuries sustained in the collision. Reportedly, all but one of the people involved in the four-car accident were transported to the hospital. The one individual that was not taken to the hospital was able to walk and was treated at the scene.

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August 16, 2010

Women Die in Two Separate Massachusetts Highway Crashes

Our Boston car crash lawyers have learned that on Friday afternoon, two women were killed in separate accidents. In Westford, Massachusetts, a 23-year-old pedestrian from Franklin was hit in the high-speed lane of Route 485. The pedestrian accident occurred at 3:48am, shutting down all three lanes of traffic for more than three hours.

According to investigators, the woman was struck by at least one vehicle near Exist 32. They are unclear on why she was walking in the traffic lane. Her identity was not released to the media pending notification of the victim’s family.

In the second accident, a 1995 Toyota T100 pickup truck rolled over on Route 24 North in Stoughton, killing a Fall River woman and seriously injuring her passenger. A statement released by police said that the driver may have fallen asleep behind the wheel. The accident occurred at 2:13am. Emergency response and crash reconstruction teams shut down all southbound lanes and two northbound lanes until 4:40am.

Source: Two killed in separate highway accidents, Boston Herald, August 13, 2010

Contact the Boston personal injury law firm of Altman & Altman if you have lost a loved one to a motor vehicle accident.

August 16, 2010

Three Injured in Leominster Car Accident

Last Friday afternoon, a man driving a blue Buick sedan rear-ended a couple driving in a Toyota as they were making a left turn onto Tisdale Street in Leominster. Two of the individuals were rushed to UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester with life threatening injuries. The third individual involved in the accident was taken to HealthAliiance Hospital in Leominster for treatment.

The local fire department used the Jaws of Life to rescue the couple trapped inside of the Toyota. Unfortunately, the couple was unable to be airlifted from the scene since all of the helicopters operating out of surrounding Worcester and Boston were tied up. As a result, the injured couple was transported to UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester by ambulance.

Police stated that the driver of the blue Buick sedan will be charged with operating under the influence of liquor, operating a motor vehicle negligently, a marked lanes violation and speeding.

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August 13, 2010

80-Year-Old Driver Injured Following Quincy Car Crash onto Front Lawn of Home

An 80-year-old driver was injured yesterday when his car struck a utility pole before coming to rest on the lawn of a Quincy home. The car accident occurred around 11 a.m. on Beal Street. The driver had to be removed from his Buick LeSabre by rescue workers utilizing the Jaws of Life.

The operator of the vehicle, a resident of nearby Milton, is currently in fair condition at Boston Medical Center. The man reportedly suffered head trauma in the collision. The Quincy Police stated that the lack of skid marks at the scene indicate that there was no attempt made by the driver to stop the vehicle. The authorities further stated that the 80-year-old driver likely suffers from a medical condition which caused him to veer off the road.

Witnesses reported that the LeSabre jumped a curb, hit a utility pole and then struck the hedges on the front lawn of a Beal Street home. Fortunately, the vehicle did not collide with any of the pedestrians that were walking along the street at the time of the accident.

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August 13, 2010

Franklin Pedestrian Killed by SUV on 495 in Westford

The MA personal injury attorneys at Altman & Altman have been made aware of a fatal accident this morning on route 495 in Westford. An unidentified woman was walking along the highway when she was struck and killed by a 2009 Toyota RAV SUV. The vehicle was operated by a Lowell resident whose name has not been released by the local authorities.

The pedestrian accident caused all three northbound lanes of Route 495 to be shut down for over two hours. A preliminary investigation has shown that the pedestrian was possibly struck by multiple vehicles, including the Toyota SUV.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an automobile accident, please contact the attorneys at the law firm of Altman & Altman for an initial consultation free of charge. Our firm has successfully handled thousands of car accident cases and our lawyers are available to answer all of your questions and help to put your mind to rest.

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August 12, 2010

Two-Vehicle Crash in Somerville Injures Drivers

Earlier today, a motor vehicle accident in Somerville sent both drivers involved to the hospital. According to police, a box truck and an SUV collided near the intersection of Mystic Avenue and McGrath Highway around 8:22am.

Somerville Police and Fire departments responded to the accident. The driver of the Toyota Highlander reportedly suffered serious injuries. Both injured motorists were transported to Massachusetts General Hospital.

The road has since reopened to traffic, but the cause of the auto accident remains under investigation by members of the accident reconstruction team.

Source: Crash injures two in Somerville, Boston Herald, August 12, 2010

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August 11, 2010

Lynn Driver Accused of Injuring Pedestrian

Our Boston car accident lawyers have learned that a Lynn man is charged with leaving the scene of personal injury, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, motor vehicle lights violation, unregistered motor vehicle, uninsured motor vehicle, failure to stop and or yield, crosswalk violation, number plate violation and failure to appear upon recognizance. He allegedly hit another vehicle and injured a pedestrian on Monday evening as officers pursued him.

The motorist reportedly jumped out of the 1995 Honda Civic he was driving and attempted to flee the scene before being caught by several officers. Police also tended to the 22-year-old pedestrian accident victim, who sustained serious injuries and was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital.

The driver was arraigned at Lynn District Court and ordered held in lieu of $20,000 cash bail. His pre-trail hearing is scheduled for early September.

Source: Driver arraigned after accident injures pedestrian, The Daily Item of Lynn, August 11. 2010

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August 10, 2010

Revere Sisters Pulled From Rollover Accident in Lynn

Two sisters from Revere were rescued from their 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass after their vehicle rolled over the Fox Hill Bridge on Route 107 in Lynn. The vehicle is thought to have struck an angled concrete barrier at the end of the bridge which caused the Oldsmobile to flip.

Three Lynn men are being credited for rescuing the women from the car, which slid down the road on its roof until coming to a stop. The men witnessed the accident as they were fishing nearby.

One of the witnesses rushed to the car, kicked in the passenger side window, and pulled one of the sisters from the wreck. The men then attempted to remove the second victim, but had a difficult time.

Following the arrival of rescue workers, one of the sisters was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment of her head injuries which she sustained in the crash. The woman is currently listed in stable condition. The other passenger in the vehicle was taken to Salem Hospital where she was treated and released for her injuries.

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August 9, 2010

Rescuers Save Massachusetts Woman from Submerged Car

Our Boston car accident lawyers have learned that on Saturday, an 86-year-old woman drove off the road in a marina and into the water. Witnesses immediately dove into the water and rescued the woman from her submerged car. According to the woman’s daughter, she will be fine.

The New Bedford auto accident is still being investigated.

Source: 86-yr-old woman rescued from submerged car, ABCLocal.Go.com, August 8, 2010

The Massachusetts motor vehicle accident firm of Altman & Altman, LLP have over fifty years of experience in handling accident claims. We have successfully litigated and negotiated millions of dollars in insurance claims and jury awards. Contact us to discuss your case.

August 6, 2010

Driver Airlifted to Hospital Following a Mass Pike Accident in Grafton

This morning at 9:21 a.m., a pickup truck slammed into a tractor-trailer that was stopped in the breakdown lane on the eastbound side of the Massachusetts Turnpike in Grafton, causing a six-mile backup.

The operator of the Toyota Tundra Pickup truck was airlifted from the accident to a nearby hospital. State Police are reporting that the driver has suffered serious injuries. Following the collision, State Police crime scene and accident reconstruction experts investigated the scene.

Earlier today, the same stretch of the Mass Pike was closed due to a tractor trailer fire. The tractor trailer, which was hauling corn, erupted into flames a mile away from where the later collision occurred. Police are currently investigating both accidents.

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August 4, 2010

Newburyport Minivan Accident Under Investigation

On Sunday afternoon, a traffic accident in Newburyport, Massachusetts injured three people. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured. Authorities are investigating the minivan accident to find out why the 91-year-old driver lost control of the vehicle just after the Yankee Homecoming Parade.

A husband and wife were hit as they crossed High Street. They were in a cross walk. The wife was listed in serious but stable condition at a local hospital, and the husband was treated and released from the hospital. A third person was hit by the minivan but refused medical attention.

It’s unclear whether the car crash was caused by driver error or a mechanical issue, so investigator inspected the vehicle earlier this week for possible accelerator problems.

Source: Police continue to investigate Sunday's minivan accident, WickedLocal.com, August 2

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August 3, 2010

Tow Truck Rear Ends Car in Lynn Leaving two Injured and one Dead

A 23-year old passenger was killed in Lynn when a flat bed tow truck struck the Honda Civic he was riding in from behind. The two remaining occupants of the Honda Civic who were riding in the front seat were taken to Salem Hospital for treatment of their injuries.

The accident occurred at 4:32 pm on the southbound side of the Lynnway at the Harding Street red-light. The occupants of the Civic were stopped at a red-light when the impact occurred.

Following the collision, both the tow truck, which was owned and operated by a Revere towing company, and the Honda Civic caught fire. The operator of the flat bed tow truck was not injured and has not been charged by the local police. Authorities are currently investigating the incident.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact the experienced attorneys at the law firm of Altman & Altman for an initial consultation free of charge.

Source: Tow truck rear-ends car, killing passenger, The Boston Globe, July 31, 2010

August 2, 2010

Study Finds Fall River Has Eight Intersections With Higher Car Accident Risk

Our Massachusetts traffic accident attorneys have learned that a report released by the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District examines 23 of the region’s most car accident-prone intersections. Eight of those are in Fall River.

The report was released last week, and it shows that 28% of traffic accidents at the intersection of Davol Street and President Avenue are the result of drivers running red lights.

Although the city does not have plans to add red light cameras at the eight intersections named in the report, the town’s Director of Community Maintenance said that may be the answer to preventing car crashes.

Source: Report: Eight city intersections run a higher risk for accidents, The Herald News, July 29, 2010

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July 26, 2010

Following Car Crashes, Massachusetts Troopers Step Up Enforcement

Last week, Massachusetts police announced plans to crack down on impaired drivers in an effort to reduce the number of car accidents involving state troopers. So far this year, 87 officers have been killed in the line across the country. More than half of those were in Massachusetts. Four recent traffic accidents have involved troopers who were making a traffic stop or working a construction detail. Ten police cruisers have been hit by drunk drivers this year.

In response to the recent rise in roadway accidents involving troopers, the department will be examining procedures and comparing those to departments in other states. There is no national standard for police lights and markers, but there have been studies to measure the effectiveness of different lighting systems.

The state is also launching a driving safety awareness campaign and stepping up efforts against drunk driving. Four extra patrols have been added on Fridays and Saturdays in each of Massachusetts’ five geographical areas. The effort, called Operation Lighting, has led to the arrest of two dozen alleged drunk drivers and will continue through the summer.

Source: Impaired drivers are put on notice, Boston Globe, July 23, 2010

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July 7, 2010

Massachusetts Lawyers Discuss Accident Involving Trooper

On Sunday morning, a hit-and-run accident injured a 32-year-old Massachusetts state trooper while he was protecting a fellow officer no Route 128 south. The car accident occurred in Peabody around 2am. The trooper was taken to Union Hospita in Lyn, where he was treated for a leg injury.

The driver fled the scene of the motor vehicle accident and faces charges including leaving the scene of an accident causing bodily injury, negligent driving, and failing to obey the move-over law.

A separate incident killed a 52-year-old sergeant on a construction detail on Interstate 95 in Attleboro. Since troopers are frequently killed or injured on Massachusetts roads and highways, authorities urge drivers to follow the move-over law and to report any damaged gray or silver sedans that may have been involved with Sunday’s hit-and-run.

Source: Trooper struck on highway, Boston Herald, July 5, 2010

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July 1, 2010

Massachusetts Bear Population Poses Hazard to Drivers

In Northampton, several recent car accidents have involved bears crossing the street. On April 30, a bear cub was badly injured by a vehicle on Florence Road, and environmental police had to put the cub down.

Two other auto accidents occurred this week. One accident occurred on Monday afternoon, when a green mini-van hit a small bear. The second motor vehicle accident occurred Tuesday evening when a cub crossed the path of a vehicle traveling west. In both cases, the drivers were not injured, though the second driver’s vehicle suffered over $1,000 in front-end damage.

A spokesperson for the Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Research unit at the University of Massachusetts said there are roughly 3,000 bears statewide, and cubs are especially at risk for injury because of their inexperience. He adds that the best way to avoid a car crash involving a bear is to drive more slowly, especially on winding road.

Source: Collisions grow as bears adapt, MassLive.com, July 1, 2010

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June 25, 2010

Texting Bill Moves to Massachusetts Senate

On Wednesday, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted almost unanimously to approve a transportation bill that would ban texting while driving for all Bay State drivers and impose stricter licensing requirements on older drivers. If the bill passes, the state would join 28 others and the District of Columbia that have already banned texting while driving.

This legislation comes on the heels of several Massachusetts motor vehicle accidents involving older drivers. The proposed bill would mandate that drivers 75 and older apply in person at the Registry of Motor Vehicles and pass a vision test every five years. It would also prohibit motorists under 18 from using cell phones in any short or form while driving.

Next stop for this traffic bill is the Senate.

Source: Massachusetts House passes bill to ban all drivers from texting while driving, MassLive.com, June 23, 2010

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June 24, 2010

Tewksbury Man Injured in Serious Car Crash

Earlier this week, a Massachusetts man called state police a few hours after being involved in a serious car accident, saying he thought he was somewhere in Massachusetts. Police tracked his call to Manchester, New Hampshire and discovered his car 70 feet from the road.

When emergency response crews arrived at the scene of the auto accident, they found the car accident victim alert, but they air-lifted him to Boston Medical Center so he could be checked for internal injuries.

They have not determined the cause of the motor vehicle accident, but they are still investigating. Speed and alcohol may have been contributing factors.

Source: Massachusetts Man Crashes In Woods In Manchester, WMUR.com, June 21, 2010

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June 15, 2010

Lenox Woman Injured in Head-on Collision

Last week, a head-on collision on Route 23 between a Toyota and a tractor-trailer sent a Lenox, Massachusetts women to the hospital. Police said the 2008 Toyota was traveling east on Route 23 when the vehicle crossed the median and hit a westbound tractor-trailer.

Both vehicles were totaled, but the tractor-trailer driver was not injured. He was cited for falsifying his driving log. The injured Toyota driver was taken to Berkshire Medical Center.

The motor vehicle accident caused authorities to close part of Route 23 for nine hours. Police are still investigating the accident. As of last week, they had not interviewed the Toyota driver due to her hospitalization.

Source: Woman stable after accident, Berkshire Eagle, June 11, 2010

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June 10, 2010

One Fatality, Two Injuries in Shrewsbury Car Accident

On Tuesday morning, a two-vehicle accident on Route 140 killed one person and injured two others. Police have not released the name of the deceased person pending notification of the car accident victim’s family. He or she was riding in a 1995 Ford Escort driven by a Shrewsbury, Massachusetts woman. The passenger was pronounced dead after being transported to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

The Escort’s driver and the driver of a 2004 Mercury Mountaineer both sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the collision. According to a police press release, they were also transported by ambulance to UMass Memorial.

Traffic at the intersection was temporarily rerouted following the motor vehicle accident.

Source: 1 killed, 2 injured in Route 140 accident, Telegram.com, June 9, 2010

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June 9, 2010

Massachusetts Lawmakers Consider New Seat Belt Law

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Bay State ranks 47th in the country for seat belt use. Currently, Massachusetts motorists and passengers are supposed to wear seat belts, but failure to do so is considered a secondary offense. In other words, police officers cannot pull over a driver for failure to wear a seat belt. They must pull over motorists for primary offenses like speeding or running a red light.

Some argue that changing the seat belt laws in Massachusetts could lead to racial profiling by police officers, but others say it’s a necessary safety measure. According to one Falmouth, requiring Massachusetts drivers and passengers to buckle their seat belts could save eighteen lives and prevent 600 serious injuries per year.

According to recent statistics, those are who are involved in a car accident and are not wearing a seat belt have an 83% percent chance of death. That number drops to just 34% when the person is wearing a seat belt. The Commonwealth is also entitled to an additional $13.6 million in federal funding if it tightens its seat belt law.

Source: Seat belt law change could be difference between life and death, MetroWest Daily News, May 30, 2010

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June 7, 2010

Car Crash Kills Massachusetts Man

On Friday afternoon, an 87-year-old man from Brockon, Massachusetts died in a single vehicle crash on Route 95. It is believed that the driver had some sort of medical emergency while behind the wheel, but the state medical examiner’s office has yet to determine the cause of death.

Witnesses say the man was driving north in a 2000 Toyota Avalon when he drifted from lane to lane. He then veered off the road and onto the grass median, turning over times before landing in the Route 95 high-speed lane and ejecting the man. The car crash occurred around 6pm on Friday. Emergency rescue personnel from the Hope Valley Fire Department declared the man dead at the scene at 6:10pm.

According to police, a 1999 BMW managed to stop before hitting the overturned vehicle. One passenger in the car, a 77-year-old from Brockton, sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to Rhode Island Hospital.

Source: Massachusetts man, 87, dies in crash on Route 95 in Exeter, Providence Journal, June 6, 2010

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June 4, 2010

Fatal Car Accident in Lynn Leads to Social Host Charges

Police in Lynn have charged a 19-year-old with violating the “social host law,” which prohibits the sale, delivery, or furnishing of alcoholic beverages to minors. According to the law, “furnishing” can include allowing those under 21 to possess alcoholic beverages on premises or property owned or controlled by the defendant. Violations are punishable with up to a $2,000 fine and/or imprisonment for up to one year.

The fatal auto accident occurred in March, when several teens drank alcohol at a party thrown by the 19-year-old Lynn man and were later involved in a motor vehicle accident.

A 19-year-old woman was ejected through the sunroof and died after her boyfriend crashed his Toyota 4Runner. Two passengers also suffered minor injuries in the car crash. The driver involved in the motor vehicle accident has been charged with motor vehicle homicide, failure to stop at a stop sign, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

Source: Lynn teen charged in fatal accident, The Daily Item, June 2, 2010

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June 2, 2010

New Bedford Car Crash Injures Seven People

On Sunday, a motor vehicle accident on Route 18 in New Bedford involving three vehicles sent several people to Boston and Providence hospitals with serious injuries. Four of the auto accident victims, including two 2-year-old boys, were taken to hospitals by medical helicopter.

Police reports indicate that the car crash occurred near the Purchase Street ramp. A 1993 Honda Civic and a 1994 Honda Accord were reportedly racing on Route 18 when the Civic hit a 1999 Volkswagen Jetta. The Civic’s driver lost control of the vehicle, hitting the Accord. One of the Civic’s passengers was ejected from the car. She was not wearing a seat belt.

The Civic’s driver was taken by ambulance to St. Luke’s Hospital. State police would only identify the victim as a 17-year-old woman. The Accord’s driver was also taken by ambulance to St. Luke’s Hospital. He was identified as an 18-year-old New Bedford man. State police said two of the Accord’s passengers were flown to Massachusetts General Hospital with serious injuries. A total of seven injuries were reported.

Those operating the Accord and the Civic have been cited for speeding, marked lanes violations, and racing. The multiple vehicle collision remains under investigation.

Source: Route 18 racing crash injures 7, including 2 children, South Coast Today, May 31, 2010

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May 25, 2010

Multiple Accidents on I-93 Cause Driving Delays

Earlier today, several motor vehicle accidents on Interstate 93 in Massachusetts and New Hampshire caused delays for many drivers. The first accident involved a motorcycle and was called in around 4:30am after the cyclist struck a deer.

Another motorcycle accident occurred an hour later when a New Hampshire man crashed his 2000 Harley Davidson. The cyclist was alert but complained of neck and back pain. Andover rescue reportedly took the man to Lawrence General Hospital.

Three more auto accidents occurred between 6:50am and 7:35am, but police were not able to give further details on those incidents. The most recent car accident caused in a car fire that backed up traffic along 93 South. Firefighters were able to control the flames by about 9:30am this morning.

Source: Rash of accidents on I-93 leave at least 2 injured in Mass. and N.H., Eagle-Tribune, May 25, 2010

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May 17, 2010

Car Crash on Massachusetts Military Base Injures Two

Last week, a motor vehicle collision on a Massachusetts military reservation injured two drivers. According to state police, their vehicles collided at the intersection of Generals Boulevard and Richardson Road around 6:30am.

The auto accident involved a Nissan Pathfinder driven by a 25-year-old Braintree man and a Honda Civic driven by a 32-year-old Attleboro woman.

Members of the Massachusetts Military Reservation Fire Department extricated both of the injured motorists from their vehicles. The Honda driver was taken to Falmouth Hospital and later transferred to Brigham & Women’s Hospital. The other motorist was treated and released at Falmouth Hospital, according to a Cape Cod Healthcare spokeswoman.

Source: Drivers injured in collision on military base, Cape Cod Times, May 14, 2010

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May 13, 2010

Massachusetts Attorney General Reaches Deal with Auto Insurers Over Accident Reports

Several Massachusetts car insurance companies have been accused of failing to correct at-fault car accident findings reported to private data collection companies after the board overturned those at-fault findings. Four more auto insurers have settled with Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley to the tune of more than $100,000.

The settlement requires these four companies to correct their at-fault accident findings reported to private data collectors. They must also report these corrections to insurers who actively use this information to calculate premiums for Massachusetts drivers. In addition, the companies will be required to pay any driver surcharged as a result of an at-fault report that should have been corrected.

According to Coakley’s office, the settlement could impact the driving records of 10,000 Massachusetts motorists.

Source: Mass. AG settles with four more insurers over at-fault accident reports, IFAWebNews.com, May 11, 2010

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May 11, 2010

Waltham Car Crash Kills Passenger

The Middlesex District Attorney's Office is investigating a Waltham pizza delivery driver who was reportedly involved in a motor vehicle accident that claimed the life of a 9-year-old boy. The 19-year-old Waltham man has not yet been charged in connection with the fatal crash, but his license was automatically revoked after the incident and records from the Registry of Motor Vehicles show that the driver was found more than 50 percent at fault for his involvement in another Waltham accident on March 27.

The fatal car accident occurred last Wednesday when a Mazda Protégé collided at an intersection with a Jeep Cherokee. Police believe that the Mazda driver may have run a stop sign after making a pizza delivery.

According to registry records, the driver of the Jeep Cherokee was driving without a Massachusetts driver's license. Her 9-year-old son was killed, but her 1-year-old daughter survived the accident without injury.

Source: Teen investigated in fatal Waltham crash, Boston Herald, May 8, 2010

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May 4, 2010

Teen Faces Charges in Newton SUV Accident

Last month, a 15-year-old Massachusetts boy was driving a sport utility vehicle when the vehicle crashed into a tree in Newton. All four of the SUV's occupants were age 15 and were taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for injuries.

Police have announced that the boy will face charges of driving to endanger, operating without a license, and using a motor vehicle without authority. In addition to these charges, the teen was cited for speeding.

Three of the teens injured in the SUV crash have been released from the hospital. As of a few weeks ago, the other teen was in critical but stable condition, according to the Boston Globe.

Source: Driver, 15, to face charges in Newton crash, Boston Globe, April 26, 2010

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April 28, 2010

Police Report Two Fatal Highway Crashes in Massachusetts

On Saturday afternoon, two men died in separate Massachusetts highway crashes. Both traffic accidents occurred between 3 and 4pm.

In the first crash, a car headed east on Interstate 195 hit a guard rail and flipped over. EMTs pronounced the driver dead at the scene of the car crash. He was the only person in the vehicle.

A second highway accident involved a man on a motorcycle, who was traveling south on Route 146. He was thrown from his motorcycle after hitting the median. The motorcycle accident victim was transported to UMass Memorial Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

Both fatal accidents are being investigated. Authorities have not released the victims' names pending notification of relatives.

Source: Two killed in highway accidents, Boston Globe, April 24, 2010

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April 27, 2010

Texting Motorist Crashes Into Massachusetts Home

On Sunday evening around 9pm, a 24-year-old Springfield man crashed his vehicle into a home in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. The impact of his Acura hitting the house caused an estimated $25,000 in damage, but fortunately none of the home's occupants were injured.

The driver admitted to text-messaging at the time of the car accident. He was released from the hospital later that night.

Lawmakers say this car crash underscores the hazards of texting behind the wheel and the need for legislation to ban the practice. Regardless of whether texting is legal or illegal, police say they hope that other Massachusetts drivers will take heed.

Source: 24-year-old Springfield man tells Wilbraham police he had been texting when he lost control of his Acura and crashed into a home at 11 Pleasant View Road, MassLive.com, April 26, 2010

Texting Driver Crashes into House, CBS3Springfield.com, April 26, 2010

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April 26, 2010

Boston College Athletes Involved with Green Line Crash

According to Massachusetts transit police, a Green Line trolley collided with a black Jeep Cherokee around midnight on Sunday. The Jeep Cherokee reportedly carried eight Boston College students, including four college athletes, all under the legal drinking age. Several of the students were injured and treated at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, but neither the driver of the trolley nor any of its passengers were hurt.

Police apparently searched the vehicle after the MBTA crash and found several open and unopened beer cans, as well as an unopened 1.75 liter bottle of vodka. They also found "flood smeared beer cans" at the site of the trolley accident.

The MBTA has announced that it will hold the students responsible for the SUV accident and wants them to pay repair costs. The eight students will also face citations for being minors in possession of alcohol.

Source: Four BC athletes to face alcohol charges after Green Line collision, The Boston Globe, April 26, 2010

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April 23, 2010

Massachusetts Experiencing Fewer Teen Driving Fatalities

In the three years since Massachusetts instituted tougher penalties on teen drivers who speed or commit other traffic violations, the number of fatal car accidents involving junior operators has decreased by 75%. According to statistics from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, the number of speeding tickets and citations for seat-belt violations issued to these young drivers has also dropped.

New laws took effect on March 31, 2007 after a serious of deadly car crashes involving teen drivers. These laws increased driver's ed requirements and the penalties for teen driving violations. The RMV says these new penalties have been highly effective at discouraging unsafe driving practices among teens.

In fact, last year Massachusetts had only six fatal auto accidents involving teen drivers, compared to 20 a few years ago. Overall, there were 13,214 accidents reported among teen motorists compared to 21,310 in 2006 before the new laws went into effect.

Source: Steep drop in teen driver fatalities, Boston Globe, April 18, 2010

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April 21, 2010

Peabody Car Crash Kills Massachusetts Man

On Sunday morning, a single-car accident on Route 1 in Peabody killed an Amesbury man. The 21-year-old passenger was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from a 2005 Saturn Ion when the driver, a 22-year-old from Sanford, Maine, lost control of the vehicle. The Saturn rolled over several times before ending up in the median.

The driver was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with serious injuries, but his passenger was declared dead at the scene of the accident. According to police, the ramp from Route 1 north was closed for about two and a half hours while authorities investigated the car accident.

Troop A of the Massachusetts State Police , the State Police Collision Analysis Reconstruction Section, the State Police Crime Scene Services Section, and the Medical Examiners Office continue to investigate the fatal auto accident.

Source: Amesbury man dead in Route1 ramp crash, ItemLive.com, April 19, 2010

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April 19, 2010

Stats Show 20% Fewer Car Crashes in Walpole

According to statistics from the first quarter of this year, car accidents in Walpole, Massachusetts have decreased by 20 percent compared to first quarter last year. Last year, officers responded to 127 motor vehicle accidents in the first quarter compared to 101 accidents this year.

In fact, police have noted a three-year downward trend with 393 recorded auto accidents in 2008 and 11 fewer in 2009. This comes despite a decrease in manpower in the city's police department over the last few years. In 2004, the department had 41 officers compared to its current 33 sworn officers.

Walpole's police chief attributed this trend to efficient policing, improved sight visibility at dangerous spots, and road improvements at several intersections. He said they are planning to hire two experienced officers soon and the town working to straighten out turns on two streets.

Source: Car accidents in Walpole down 20 percent, WickedLocal.com, April 15, 2010

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April 7, 2010

Massachusetts Man Arrested for Texting Behind the Wheel

Earlier this week, a Dracut, Massachusetts driver was pulled over for text messaging while in plain sight of a police officer. When officers discovered that the man was also driving with a suspended license, they arrested the 20-year-old motorist.

Text messaging while driving become illegal in New Hampshire on January 1. While a violation would generally lead to a reckless operation charge and a $100 fine rather than an arrest, police arrested the man because they say he blatantly broke the law by driving without a valid license and texting with the cell phone at steering wheel level.

The state does not track the number of people caught texting on the road, so it's possible that this driver was the first to get caught. However, police say that while text messaging poses a serious danger to drivers, it can be challenging to enforce the new law.

Source: A first? Texting while driving leads to arrest, UnionLeader.com, April 6, 2010

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April 5, 2010

Lynn Man Pleads Not Guilty to Hit-And-Run in Deadly Crash

A 25-year-old Lynn motorist who was charged in connection with a fatal car accident has pleaded not guilty to leaving the scene of an accident causing death. He was ordered held on $5,000 cash bail and prohibited from driving.

The auto accident occurred in Revere on Thursday morning when a 59-year-old was reportedly crossing a road near her home. She was apparently hit by a car and her body was thrown into the opposite lane. Emergency responders declared the women dead at the scene.

According to prosecutors, the driver was traveling above the 40 mph speed limit when his vehicle hit the woman and he kept on driving after the accident. However, he turned himself in to police an hour later.

The motorist has prior driving-related offences on his record and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. He will return to court later this month.

Source: Man charged in hit-run accident that killed Revere woman, Boston Globe, April 2, 2010

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April 1, 2010

Westport Driver Dies in Car Crash, Texting a Suspected Factor

A deadly car accident in Westport, Massachusetts last week proved the seriousness of text messaging while driving. The sole car crash victim was a 21-year-old male who lost control of his Buick Regal and perished less than a mile from his home after driving into a tree.

Police said the damage to the vehicle was catastrophic and that it's unlikely that anyone could have survived the impact. Skid marks at the scene of the traffic accident show that the Buick was moving at speeds of at least 80 mph in a 30 mph zone. While speed was certainly a factor in the severity of the incident, investigators discovered that the driver had sent a text message just one minute before the auto crash was reported, so they suspect that driver distraction may have played an even bigger role.

No one else was in the car at the time of the accident.

Source: OUR VIEW: Tragedy shows that text messages can wait, Taunton Daily Gazette, March 29, 2010

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March 26, 2010

Federal Authorities Investigating Yarmouth Car Crash

Earlier this month, the owner of a 2010 Toyota Rav-4 crashed the car into a plastic surgery clinic in Yarmouth, Massachusetts. The 70-year-old driver said the vehicle accelerated on its own, and now, in light of the recent Toyota recall, federal investigators are looking into the car crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to spend two days examining the vehicle to see if her story holds weight. Police said they were using sophisticated computers to inspect the car, but they requested an independent investigation to see what might have gone wrong.

Investigators say that eyewitnesses confirm the driver's story. She was treated for minor injuries. No other injuries were reported in connection with the auto accident.

Source: Feds investigate Mass. woman's claim that Toyota wouldn't stop, NECN.com, March 23, 2010

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March 24, 2010

Stratham Car Crash Leaves Skateboarding Teen in Critical Condition

Last week, a car accident in Stratham, Massachusetts seriously injured a 12-year-old middle school student, leaving her in critical condition. According to East Kingston Police, the incident occurred outside the teen's home around 3:55pm. The girl was riding out of her driveway on a RipStick, a modified skateboard, when she was struck by a Toyota Camry, suffering serious head injuries.

The injured teen was transported to Exeter Hospital, then flown by helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. As of this morning, a hospital spokesperson said the girl was still in critical condition.

No charges have been filed in connection with this traffic accident, and police say they are still investigating.

Source: Skateboarder in critical condition after being struck by car, SeaCoastOnline.com, March 24, 2010

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March 16, 2010

New England Storms Create Dangerous Driving Conditions

Here in Massachusetts, severe weather conditions over the last several days have made driving unusually treacherous, creating at least one car accident in nearby Manchester, New Hampshire. The storm also delayed flights out of airports in New York and Boston and knocked out roads in several parts of the state. The MBTA reports that parts of the D line were taken out of service yesterday due to flooding.

However, WCSH6.com reports that Southern Maine has been hit hardest of all. Roughly 50 roads in York country were closed. Route 202 in Lebanon was covered in water, and Route 1 in York was closed to a single lane yesterday. Hundreds of residents also lost power.

Authorities urged drivers in Massachusetts and throughout New England to use caution on wet, slippery roads.

Source: Storm causing travel problems, WCSH6.com, March 15, 2010

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March 15, 2010

Two-Car Crash in Wareham Injures Seven

On Saturday, a two-vehicle rollover on Route 25 injured seven people, including five children. Massachusetts police say two of the children were seriously injured. The traffic accident occurred around 11:15 on Saturday morning when a 1999 Toyota Avalon reportedly made contact with a 1999 GMC Suburban, causing both vehicles to roll over.

According to reports, the GMC ended up in the median on the driver's side, and the Toyota landed on its roof in the breakdown lane. All seven people were initially taken to Tobey Hospital, say police. Two of the children, age 9 and 11, were seriously injured and were later taken to Children's Hospital in Boston.

Massachusetts troopers are still investigating the cause of this car crash.

Source: Double rollover on Route 25 sends seven to hospital, GateHouse News Service, March 14, 2010

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March 12, 2010

Yarmouth Car Crash Blamed on Toyota Problems

The driver of a Toyota Rav-4 who crashed her vehicle into a Yarmouth, Massachusetts doctor's office on Tuesday says the accident was not her fault. Her vehicle had supposedly been repaired as part of the Toyota recall, but several drivers have reportedly accelerator problems even after their vehicles were fixed.

The 70-year-old driver, who apparently has a flawless driving record, told her son she put her foot on the brake pedal and the vehicle accelerated into the building. Then she reportedly looked down after the car accident and her foot was still on the brake. She suffered minor injuries and back pain, but no one inside the doctor's office was injured.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the motor vehicle accident.

Source: Blaming Toyota for doctor's office crash, NECN.com, March 10, 2010

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March 11, 2010

Milford Woman Dies in Car Crash, District Attorney Considers Filing Charges

Earlier this week, a 92-year-old woman from Milford, Massachusetts was injured in a car accident and later succumbed to those injuries. After being flown by medical helicopter to the hospital, she died late Monday at UMass Memorial Medical Center.

The woman's 82-year-old sister was found to be at fault for the four-car accident, and police say they are considering holding her criminally responsible for the death. Ultimately, that determination will be made by the district attorney, they say.

The younger sister was driving a 1998 Dodge Stratus that set off the chain-reaction crash. She was not seriously injured and has already been cited for following too closely.

Source: 92-year-old passenger in Milford crash dies from injuries, Milford Daily News, March 10, 2010

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