We have been practicing law in Boston and throughout Massachusetts since 1985. I have represented clients in District Courts, Superior Courts, the Appeals Court, Housing Court, Probate Courts, Federal Bankruptcy Court and the Federal District Court.
In July, Massachusetts will join a growing list of states that have legalized marijuana use for recreational purposes. Many people will be welcoming the legalization of marijuana for various reasons. These include the inaccurate and unscientific comparison of pot to harder drugs like heroin or cocaine, its inclusion as a controlled substance, the mass incarceration of mostly minorities for its mere possession over the decades, and its proven medical benefits. However, marijuana is still a drug that affects cognition, coordination and reaction time, all factors that can lead to deadly consequences while driving under its influence.
Train crossings are not an uncommon sight in many areas of the country, including Massachusetts. You can generally recognize when a train is crossing your path by flashing lights and a barrier that prevents cars from crossing the tracks. However, serious injuries and fatalities do occur at train crossings. Just this past April, 2018, a Springfield woman ran her SUV into a moving train around 2:00 a.m. on Memorial Drive in Springfield and suffered fatal injuries. It has not yet been established how the accident occurred.
Massachusetts has approximately 3000 railroad crossings throughout the state or areas where roads cross railroad tracks instead of over or under them. Between 1975 and 2016, there have been 36 fatalities at such crossings. According to the Federal Railway Administration, in 2017 there were 2,105 collisions between motor vehicles and trains in the U.S., resulting in 807 injuries and 274 fatalities. These incidents have been reduced considerably since 1981 when there were 9,461 collisions with 3,293 injuries and 728 fatalities.
Car accidents are common occurrences and the majority are minor in nature with no or minimal injuries. However, when a pedestrian is struck by a car, the odds that he/she will suffer a serious injury is substantially higher.
Recently, a 61-year old man was killed in Lowell when he was struck by a car on Church Street near Warren. Lowell is a fair-sized community of over 108,000 residents and lies close to Lexington, Andover, Tewksbury, Billerica and Cambridge.
According to city-data.com, Lowell has 3 of the most dangerous intersections in the state. Although this most recent fatal accident did not occur at these intersections, the fact that many of Lowell’s streets are not particularly safe should give its residents pause.
Strange things happen at night. In the early morning hours of April 8, 2018, in Lawrence, customers at the Lowell Street 7-11 got a very rude wake-up call when an intoxicated man drove his SUV into the store, just narrowly missing a customer but striking a 64-year-old man, causing him extensive injuries. A video from the store captured the sequence, showing customers talking near the entrance way just before the SUV comes crashing through.
The driver is also seen on the video pleading with police before being taken away and jailed on suspicion of intoxicated driving, driving without a license and reckless driving. Because the victim suffered a serious injury, the driver could face more serious DUI charges.
As a Massachusetts resident, you can rest easy knowing that you live in one of the least stressed-out states in the nation, or maybe you already knew that? To highlight Stress Awareness Month this past April (were you aware of that?), a list was compiled by Wallethub, a finance web site, ranking the 10 most stressed states and the 10 least.
Factors in the study included the average hours of sleep per night, number of bankruptcies filed and the number of hours worked. In all, there were 38 indicators of stress that were applied to all 50 states and D.C.