Articles Posted in Pedestrian-Motor Vehicle Accidents

I don’t know how many of my readers were aware of this at the time it happened, but five months ago, last February 2018, two Needham High School students were killed when two separate vehicle drivers hit both students as they were walking across Webster Street, in the town just next door to me here in Westwood. It was a stunning tragedy that took the lives of Talia Newfield, age 16, and Adrienne Garrido, age 17. Both were Juniors at Needham High School.

February 10, 2018 was a Saturday – not even a school day. The weather was uncomplicated, in fact rather warm for that day of the year (approximately 50 degrees). Yet, in a freak accident that still begs for comprehension, both friends were struck as pedestrians by two separate cars. Just a day ago, Norfolk County District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey’s office released news that the drivers of those two cars, Robert Berry, 65, of Needham, and Dania Antoine-Guiteau, 52, of Wellesley, have been indicted by a Norfolk County grand jury on criminal felony homicide charges: Mr. Berry was charged with motor vehicle homicide and two counts of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Ms. Antoine-Guiteau was indicted on charges of manslaughter and negligent motor vehicle homicide. Now, beyond the grieving families of these two young students, two more families will suffer even more grief, knowing that their family members have been criminally indicted on Massachusetts motor vehicle homicide charges. Continue reading

The media has been doing a lot of broadcasting and publishing recently – very justifiably – on the subject of the Massachusetts Legislature’s shameful failure to act promptly in passing a revised distracted driving bill in this state. In the meantime, the lives of millions of drivers on the roads of Massachusetts remain at heightened risk due to people using their cell phones while behind the wheel. Distracted driving – whether talking on a phone, texting, or surfing through apps – is killing people every month that state government fails to crack down – as in, “Big Time.’

When is this Roadshow of Russian Roulette going to cease? Continue reading

I’m posting this very brief piece on Thanksgiving Day, a day I wouldn’t normally be working.

But as I was thinking last night of all that I have in this life – many things that others less fortunate than I don’t have – the idea of loss struck home as I noticed a news item that I had placed on my “To Do” list.  That item was the fact that, just 3 or so blocks from me here in Westwood, a six year-old boy was killed last Sunday, November 19.  The boy’s name was Edward “Eddie” Thomson.  He died two days after being hit as a pedestrian in a crosswalk by a car at around 3:00 PM  at the corner of Pond Street and Lakeshore Drive.  Westwood police have commented that the incident appears to be accidental.  I’m not surprised:  the At that time of day at this time of year, the sun is very low in the sky, and even if a driver isn’t heading west, at the angle that the sun sets at this time of year, at 3:00 PM it can blind you easily.  As I said, the corner of Lakeshore Drive and Pond Street is only about three blocks from where my wife Debbi and I live.  News like this hits home, when it happens five minutes from your own life.

Life can be so fragile.  As an attorney who specializes in auto accident cases, I see tragic accidents like this far too frequently.  It’s easy to think that these awful, fatal accidents happen mostly on the highway – out on Route 128 or the Mass. Pike – but they don’t just happen on high-speed roads.  Fatal pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents can happen in a neighborhood, as happened here – and lifelong injuries and yes, death, can result – from a vehcile traveling as slow as 10 or 15 MPH.

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