Articles Posted in Fatal Accidents

Police from Easthampton, MA are reporting that two individuals were fatally injured while traveling north on their motorcycle. The motorcycle, which had been traveling north, was struck by an oncoming car heading southbound.

According to police reports, 45-year-old James Ainsworth of Springfield, MA crossed the center line on Route 5 yesterday and struck the couple on their bike. News reports indicate that Ainsworth was scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon at the Northwestern district attorney’s office.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 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 make up an estimated 14% of the total number of motor-vehicle crashes in the United States each year. The United States watchdog estimates that per every vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclist and motorcycle passengers are 30 times more likely than passenger car occupants to be killed in an accident, and 5 times more likely to be injured during an accident.
Continue reading

Despite monumental improvements in vehicle safety, the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway traffic Safety Administration reports that traffic fatalities increased in 2012 for the first time since 2005. The number of car accident fatalities rose to 33,561, which was 1,082 more than the previous year. Data shows that the large majority of these fatalities occurred in the first quarter of the year and mainly involved motorcycle and pedestrian incidents.

The NHTSA notes that despite the fact that the number of accident-related deaths rose in 2012, “highway deaths over the last five years remain at historic lows.” Even factoring in the small jump in 2012, the fatalities are still consistent with those of the year 1950. Early data analysis from 2013 indicates fatality numbers have fallen once again.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx released a statement explaining, “Highway deaths claim more than 30,000 lives each year and while we’ve made substantial progress over the past 50 years, it’s clear that we have much more work to do. As we look to the future, we must focus our efforts to tackle persistent and emerging issues that threaten the safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians across the nation.”
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

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

After a preliminary investigation, New Hampshire officials have concluded that neither speed nor alcohol were factors in Tuesday morning’s fatal crash.

While the incident remains under investigation, Brookline Police Chief William Quigley said that excessive speed and intoxication have been ruled out as possible causes, however “driver inattentiveness” remains the most likely factor of the three-car accident that killed one person.

The accident occurred when a female driver who was trying to take a left hand turn was rear-ended and pushed into traffic, causing an oncoming car to strike her car.
Unfortunately this accident is an example of a distracted driving accident. Accidents caused by driver inattention account for nearly one fifth (18%) of all motor vehicle collisions in the United States. In 2011, 3,331 people were killed and 387,000 people were injured in as the result of driver inattention and distracted driving incidents.

Texting and driving, while against the law, remains a big issue throughout New England. 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, blind!
Texting is not the only type of distraction people face while driving, and there are three other types of distractions including visual: taking eyes off of the road; manual: taking hands off of the wheel; cognitive: taking mind off of driving (e.g.; day dreaming).

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

Authorities in Middleborough have released new details in their search for the driver who struck and killed a local bicyclist last week.

Michael Dutra, 58, of Middleborough was the victim of the fatal hit-and-run accident, which occurred around 7 p.m. Friday evening. Authorities believe Dutra was either riding or walking his bicycle along Wood Street, where he resided.

Plymouth Country District Attorney Timothy Cruz, as well as Middleborough’s Chief of Police Bruce Gates, said that investigators of the accident had started to piece the scene together, and have collected debris from what they believe to be a light-colored model year 2005-2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Authorities think that the vehicle is possibly missing the front marker lens, may have a broken right headlight lens, as well as a damaged right front bumper. Investigators need your help. Anyone with any information regarding the case is encouraged to contact the Middleborough Police Department at (508) 947-1212.

While bike riding is a popular mode of transportation, it is also extremely dangerous, especially for individuals who choose ride at night. Unlike passengers in motor vehicles, bicyclists have no physical protective barriers against outside elements like cars, trees, guardrails, fences, and other large vehicles, and are at the mercy of others traveling on the road.

bike.jpgThe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 500,000 people are treated for serious bicycle-related injuries each year, and more than 700 individuals die each year. A majority of these injuries are head injuries attributed to not wearing a helmet. Though many people dismiss the idea of wearing a helmet because of atheistic reasons, or because they feel their short commute does not warrant wearing one, wearing a helmet could make all the difference, and could even save a life. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that bicycle helmets are 85-88% effective in preventing severe head and brain injuries. Other types of injuries commonly sustained in bicycle accidents include concussions, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, lacerations, paralysis, and death.
Continue reading

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

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

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

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

Contact Information