It never surprises me, as a Wellesley car accident lawyer, how the most unlikely people can be involved in serious accidents and injuries. Early in my career, I long ago learned that economic or financial status is irrelevant to who can get injured in a variety of accidents.
If you were to hear about an alleged drunk driver that struck a car and caused the victim to suffer serious injuries, you would probably not think several of the facts that are present in this post. First, you might not suspect that the accused driver was from the wealthy town of Wellesley. Second, you probably wouldn’t guess that the driver is, in fact, a prominent doctor. And third, you never think that the accused driver was an acclaimed Emergency Room doctor at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, who won that hospital’s “Doctor of the Year” award in 2009.
But you’d be wrong on all points. Because that is exactly where Dr. Kristin Howard, 56, an ER physician at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, finds herself now. She was arraigned on Tuesday, November 13th, on charges of Massachusetts driving under the influence of alcohol, to which she pleaded not guilty. Very damaging to her plea, however, will be the fact that her SUV was caught on a surveillance camera, crashing into a car on a main road in Wellesley. The video demonstrates that Howard’s Subaru Outback, which drove wildly through the Whole Foods parking lot, became almost airborne upon leaving the lot, crossing a road and eventually crashing into a Mercury Marquis driven by 78-year-old Paul McDonald, whose car was stopped as he was waiting at a red light. He was sent to the hospital for two days with two cracked ribs and a leg hematoma. From what I saw of this Wellesley crash video, Mr. McDonald is lucky to be alive. An eyewitness said that Howard’s SUV was driving through the Whole Foods parking lot between 40 and 50 mph. Video footage that aired on CBS4 Boston TV (WBZ) on November 13 shows the doctor’s SUV speeding through a parking lot, completely uprooting a granite stone safety column, shaving the bark off a nearby tree, and then hitting – “T-boning” McDonald’s car at the intersection. Mr. McDonald’s car was then pushed into a truck. Dr. Howard was even wearing her hospital scrubs at the time of the incident.
It just goes to show that no one is immune from the personal injury disaster that typically follows a car accident, no matter what they do for a living. And that disaster can easily happen to you – even if you are just sitting in your car, stopped at a red traffic light. Then next thing you know, your life can change in an instant, and you may be lucky to walk away alive. As a Wellesley Massachusetts car accident lawyer, I see it all the time.
Dr. Howard apparently told police that she was merely shopping for a Thanksgiving turkey at Wellesley’s Whole Foods supermarket last Friday, when the incident took place. She allegedly told Wellesley police that she was listening to National Public Radio in her car, then decided to buy gas, and that she simply lost control of the car. The physician refused to take a sobriety test. Police officers reportedly found numerous prescription pills inside her jacket pocket, which were allegedly written by her for herself. After the Wellesley car crash, Howard pleaded not guilty to numerous criminal charges stemming from the incident; these criminal charges include illegal possession of prescription pills, causing serious bodily injury, and driving under the influence of alcohol. After the Wellesley car crash, Howard was relieved of her professional responsibilities at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, where she has worked for the last 13 years.
But where does all this leave Mr. McDonald, the victim in this accident? He suffered substantial injuries, and said the impact of the two cars sounded like a bomb going off. That is not uncommon when two cars collide; it can be quite traumatic. Like many car accident victims, he may suffer the effects of this Massachusetts car accident for years to come, because many of them may consist of what are called “soft tissue injuries,” which do not involve broken bones and cannot be adequately imaged by medical means, but that are nonetheless very real and very debilitating. Mr. McDonald needs an experienced Wellesley Massachusetts car accident lawyer to advise him of his legal rights and options to recover for his injuries and his pain and suffering. I hope he gets that professional advice, soon.
This incident reinforces how important it is to be extremely aware of your surroundings whenever driving a car or walking as a pedestrian, because no matter how careful you are, tragedy can strike due to someone else’s negligence. If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury due to a car crash, you should seek our an experienced Massachusetts car accident attorney. Otherwise, you could easily end up losing very valuable legal rights to potentially substantial compensation for your injuries.