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Fiery Accident Turns Fatal on the Zakim Bridge

A tragedy occurred in the early hours of the morning on Marathon Monday. Debra Sarno, a 54-year-old taxi driver from Chelsea was killed when a tractor trailer slammed into her cab on the right travel lane on Route 93, and burst into flames. The accident occurred on the Zakim Bridge, a towering monument in the shadow of a city getting ready to run the most meaningful marathon to date in just a few short hours. Flames and plumes of smoke could be seen billowing high into the air as both the taxi and the truck were completely engulfed.

According to WCVB, “Firefighters rushed to help, but the fire proved too intense. By the time the vehicles were towed away, neither were recognizable. Both burned down to the metal.”

The exact cause of the accident remains unclear at this time, but investigators are particularly focused on why Sarno was stopped in the right travel line in the middle of early morning traffic. It is thought that her 2006 Ford Crown Victoria could have stalled, leaving her in an extremely dangerous spot. The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office says it is still trying to figure out how the tractor trailer carrying a full load of produce hit her. The investigation will prove to be difficult as there was little left of the car and truck when the fire was finally put out, around 7 am.

According to CBS Boston, “the truck driver, Joseph Maldonado, 47, of Manchester Conn., sustained minor injuries and was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital.” The chaotic scene closed all lanes of that section of 93 North, with one lane reopening around 9am. Sarno, was pronounced dead at the scene and she was not carrying a passenger at the time. She worked for Malden Taxi, and her coworkers were heartbroken upon hearing the news. She was remembered by her shocked neighbors as “as nice gal.”

Her roommate and fellow cabdriver, Joe Hyde told the Boston Globe that Sarno was “just a very loving girl. You know, she’d do anything for anybody. . . It’s just a terrible tragedy. I’m lost for words on it.” She is described as a loving mother who cared for her ailing father before his passing and leaves behind three adult sons.

Significant advancements in driver safety have been in recent years, but the threat for serious injury and even death as a result of a car accident still remains. According to the Center for Disease Control, “in the United States, a person is treated in an emergency room for car-accident related injuries every ten seconds.”

Injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident can be not only physically painful, but also life-altering. Suddenly, normal everyday activities become impossible. Victims may not be able to return to work, leaving them with mounting medical bills and no income to pay them off. To make matters worse, victims and their families are commonly left to deal with the physical, emotional, and financial aftermath without any assistance. Family members and loved ones of those who are killed in an accident need time to heal without insurance companies and bill collectors calling. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, Altman & Altman would like to help. 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.

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