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A Dorchester man has been charged with striking and killing a bicyclist on Morrissey Boulevard last week. Michael D. Ahern, 46 years old, was arraigned in Dorchester Municipal Court for motor vehicle homicide, drunken driving, operating to endanger and speeding, to which he pleaded not guilty on all counts. His bail was set at $25,000.

State Police reports stated that Ahern was traveling in his 2011 F150 pickup truck on William T. Morrissey Boulevard at about 12:30 a.m. on September 14 when he struck Doan Bui, 63, of Dorchester, who was riding her bicycle southbound on the boulevard. Bui was announced dead at the scene. According to Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Patrick K. Devlin, the impact of the vehicle threw the victim “a significant distance.”
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A woman from Groton and a Dunstable man were tragically killed in a single-car accident this past holiday weekend, early Sunday morning, September 2, 2012, at around 5:30am. A third person, the man who was driving the Ford pick-up truck, was transported to Lowell General Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, according to police Sergeant Robert Romilly. The crash occurred on Great Road, just west of the intersection with Gilson Road. The truck appeared to have jumped off the road and hit a pole on the passenger side of the vehicle, flipping the automobile and ejecting the two passengers who were pronounced dead at the scene. Littleton State Police and the Middlesex District Attorney office are investigating. The two departed have since been identified as 21 year olds Taylor DeLuca of Groton and Richard Mitchell of Dunstable.

I’m normally disinclined to write a blog about a car accident that involves death. I’ve always found the saying “If it bleeds, it leads” to be distasteful at best. But an officer was quoted at the scene as saying that when it comes to determining what happened to these three people, “speed is going to be a factor.” The police also don’t believe that the two ejected passengers were wearing their seatbelts. But since the story was released, the possibility of drug or alcohol abuse playing a role has been eliminated. So what I’ve chiefly taken away from this incident is that this was an absolutely preventable calamity. That’s sad to me, especially since it happened over a long weekend where people get together to forget the daily grind to enjoy each other, to enjoy life.

In a way it feels trite to repeat the steps for safe driving but there are too many stories like this one. And so maybe, sometimes, trite is necessary.

Facts about seatbelts:
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Four separate motorcycle accidents in the Boston area Monday left one dead and four others injured. The fatality, which occurred in Jamaica Plain at 9:36 a.m., was the result of a motorcycle crashing into an MBTA van. The individual, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene. According to David Estrada, a spokesman for the Boston Police Department, the van’s driver was taken to Brigham and Women’s Hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries.

Joe Pesaturo, a spokesman for the MBTA, said that the van was not carrying passengers and was stopped at the time of the collision. It reportedly was on duty as part of The Ride, which is a transportation service for disabled residents. The official cause of the motorcyclist’s death has not yet been determined.

Police have reported that the three other accidents occurred in Brookline, Chelsea and Westwood. The Brookline crash involved a Boston police officer who was injured after he lost control trying to avoid a small animal. His injuries were not believed to be life threatening. In another accident, a 58-year-old man from Peabody was driving northbound on Route 1 when he struck a minivan. He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital after the accident, which had occurred at 4:35 p.m. The passengers of the minivan were uninjured.
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The MBTA has reported a fatality involving a motorcycle crash which occurred this morning in Roxbury. The accident, which is still under investigation by the Boston police, occurred when a RIDE van was stopped at the corner of Park Lane and Walnut Avenue. The motorcyclist apparently collided with the van at about 9:40 a.m., according to MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

The individual was later pronounced dead after being rushed to Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Fortunately, the van was not carrying any passengers at the time of the collision and the driver was uninjured. No further information is available at the moment.

One person killed when motorcycle collides with RIDE van in Roxbury, MBTA says, The Boston Globe, August 20, 2012

In a board meeting Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board revealed the results of a 13-month investigation into a deadly bus accident involving a driver who fell asleep on the job. On May 31, 2011, a motor coach operated by Sky Express Inc., which had 59 people on board, veered off a highway near Richmond, Virginia, around 5 a.m. It was reported that the bus hit a barrier, rotated and then overturned. Four died and 49 others were injured.

According to safety officials, although the driver had minor injuries, he refused medical treatment. The safety board determined that the accident was caused in part by his inability to maintain control of the bus due to “acute sleep loss.” However, it also found the bus company and the government partially responsible, citing “the failure of Sky Express Inc. management to follow adequate safety practices and to exercise safety oversight of the driver.” Alcohol, drugs, cell phone use, weather, mechanical defects, speed and highway design were ruled out as factors.

The board’s chairman, Deborah A.P. Hersman, described the crash as “entirely preventable” and said it “never should have happened.” In examining the driver’s work schedule, sleep times and cell phone use, it was found that his opportunity for sleep in the 72 hours before the crash was “limited.” It also cited the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s lack of sufficient oversight of the bus company, saying it “allowed the company to continue operations despite known safety issues.”
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Route 24, a busy roadway which sees more than 100,000 cars per day, has raised a great deal of concern recently due to a string of serious or fatal accidents. As a result, State police outlined a plan Friday to increase patrols on the roadway. The hope was that an increased police presence will improve driver safety and decrease the likelihood of future accidents.

Recent statistics show that the rate of car accidents on Route 24 has not only increased in the past year but also spiked noticeably in the last month alone. Since January 2011, there were 16 accidents requiring a construction team and 11 involving fatalities. In the last month, there were two fatal accidents resulting in three deaths-one of which was a 12-year-old girl. These figures prompted officials and the public to take notice.

A motorist who travels on Route 24 and was interviewed by a reporter from WHDH, said, “I’m not surprised, I’m really not. I see the way people drive on this highway. It’s scary, it’s really scary.” Col. Timothy Alben of the State police also indicated that the roadway was notorious for dangerous driving, especially at night. “It’s a whole different world out here after midnight,” he said.

State police said Friday that they would increase patrols on weekends during the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m., according to Col. Alben. The patrols would be present not only on Route 24 but also Interstate 495. Reportedly, there would be 11 extra patrols each night. This increase in police presence was predicted to cost about $125,000 and will remain until the end of the summer.
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Both directions of Route 128 in Woburn were shut down late Monday night due to the rollover of a gasoline tanker. According to State police, the crash occurred in the southbound lanes of 128. According to an officer, the driver of the vehicle was attempting to pull of the roadway near Washington Street at Exit 36.

Jane Lindsay, 53, of Dorchester, reportedly pulled in front of the tanker as she was nearing the exit and was struck. This crash then led the truck to swerve and roll over. Lindsay was taken to Winchester Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the tanker, 50-year-old Michael Cormier, was also taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
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Two men driving motorcycles in Dennis early Sunday morning were involved in a crash, according to The Boston Globe. According to a statement from the Dennis Police Department, a 35-year-old Hyannis man died and another man was injured when they lost control of their motorcycles. The two were driving east on Route 28 at about 1 a.m. when they hit a utility pole and were ejected forward into the street.

One of the operators, Edward Kelley, 43, was taken to Barnstable Municipal Airport and then transported to a Boston hospital. His condition is still unknown. The second man, whom police are not identifying at the moment, was pronounced dead at Cape Cod Hospital.
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Two brothers who were seriously injured in an early morning car accident on Sunday in Boston are confirmed to be in stable condition. Identified as Muji Karim, 28, and Husain Karim, 27, originally from Burlington, Vt., the brothers each suffered extensive injuries after their vehicle rolled over and caught fire on Storrow Drive in Boston.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office confirmed that Husain Karim, the younger of the two brothers, was driving a white Infiniti that reportedly struck a tree, rolled over, and caught fire. State troopers responded to the area of Storrow Drive eastbound near the off-ramp to Kenmore Square and the Boston Fire Department was subsequently called with the Jaws of Life to extricate the two brothers and to extinguish the fire caused by the crash.

Husain Karim, the driver, was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital and Muji Karim, the passenger, was taken to Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Both men suffered from severe burns and injuries. Suffolk District Attorney’s Office spokesman Jake Wark confirmed that both men are expected to survive and that the conditions of both have stabilized.

The crash continues to be under investigation by the assistance of the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section and State Police Crime Scene Services.

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

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

A tripped rollover, such as was the case above, can occur due to any of the following circumstances:

• A collision with an object, such as a tree or a guardrail • A collision with another vehicle • Soft soil on the side of the road
• Steep slope or ditch on the side of the road

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.


North Andover crash victims have stabilized , The Eagle Tribune, August 23, 2011
North Andover brothers were UNH football duo, The Eagle Tribune, August 23, 2011
Former Burlington football stars in hospital after fiery crash,, August 23, 2011
Roadway Safety Tips, Massachusetts Department of Transportation
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Come October 1, the state’s text ban will go into effect. The much anticipated law makes it illegal for Massachusetts motorists to write or read a text message or email or search the internet while driving, even if they do it at a stoplight. Since text messaging has been shown to raise the risk of a car crash, violators will be subject to a $100 fine.

In anticipation of the ban, Boston-area drivers say they are trying to get out of the habit of texting behind the wheel. But for many habitual texters, it won’t be easy. Some have tried setting the ringer to vibrate or silent to remove the temptation. Others place their phone in a bag and leave the bag out of reach.

The American Automobile Association advises people to start practicing now so that they’ll be ready to comply with the law later this fall. The state is working with a local nonprofit to develop a public awareness campaign.

Source: Need text therapy?, Boston Globe, August 15, 2010 Continue reading

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