Dislodged Manhole Cover Strikes Car, Kills Driver in Boston’s O’Neill Tunnel

A tragic accident on Friday morning has resulted in the death of a woman, and a massive, city-wide inspection of all manhole covers on Boston highways. According to police, the woman’s car was struck by a manhole cover as she was exiting the O’Neill Tunnel, southbound on 1-93. The initial investigation into the incident reveals that the dislodged manhole cover became airborne and struck the windshield of the victim’s vehicle. Contact a Boston Injury Lawyer Today.

The female driver, whose name is being withheld until her family can be notified, was killed on impact. The cause of the incident, which occurred at approximately 7:50 am, is still under investigation. According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), a typical manhole cover weight 200 pounds or more. “Our sympathy goes out to the family of the victim involved in this horrific incident this morning,” said MassDOT administrator Thomas Tinlin. “This tragedy is leading us to take several steps immediately out of an abundance of caution.”

Manhole Cover Hadn’t Been Inspected Since 2014

Determining what caused the manhole cover to become dislodged is the first step in the investigation. In response to this tragedy, MassDOT crews and state police are conducting an inspection of each and every manhole cover, electrical panel cover, and grate on highways in and around Boston. The manhole cover that struck the victim’s car had been covering a storm drainage system. The metal object smashed through the car’s front windshield, covered the entire length of the vehicle, and exited through the rear windshield. The car continued to careen down the highway for nearly half a mile before hitting a wall near East Berkeley street.

Reporting on a similar incident in New York last year, a Con Edison spokesman told CBS news that manhole explosions can be caused by damaged underground electrical wires that spark,  igniting gases. According to MassDOT records, the manhole in today’s incident hadn’t been inspected since June 12, 2014.

Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Premier Injury Law Firm

Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. All fatal accidents are devastating for loved ones, but freak accidents such as this can be especially traumatic. Confusion and shock take over when something so baffling and disturbing occurs. This tragedy was certainly preventable, but we won’t know who is responsible until an investigation uncovers more details.

Financial compensation doesn’t take away the pain and suffering that people experience when they lose a loved one to a tragic accident. However, that loss is often accompanied by expenses. Sometimes these expenses are minor, sometimes they are significant. Either way, compensation can help you cover everything from medical expenses to lost wages. Victims’ families are also usually entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. Although this cannot bring a loved one back, it can give people space and breathing room with which to heal and get back on their feet. The attorneys at Altman & Altman, LLP have worked with many families who have lost a loved one in a tragic accident. Our compassionate, knowledgeable team can help you get through this difficult time. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.



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