Traffic Fatalities Hold Steady in 2020 Despite Lower Traffic Volume in Massachusetts

As expected from reduced traffic volumes in 2020 due to the pandemic that forced many Massachusetts businesses, especially bars, restaurants, hotels, salons, and gyms to close down or that forced others to work remotely from home, the number of traffic accidents fell dramatically from 2019 levels. However, the incidence of fatal car accidents did not experience a similar decline.

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Car Crash Drunken Hooligan Theory Still In Play as Officers Investigate Abandoned Car Crash

A recent car accident in Hyannis, Massachusetts involved 4-5 drunk males whose vehicle had been observed by a passing Uber driver to crash into a barricade. The Uber driver told police that he saw the vehicle impact the barricade before the males, whom he reported from observing their conduct to be visibly intoxicated, attempted to extricate the vehicle from the barricade. The car’s airbags were also deployed, which would make driving it very difficult even if it were operational. 

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Teenager Killed in a Violent East Boston Crash on Route 1A

In early March, an 18-year-old driver was killed when his vehicle struck a pole at a high rate of speed, splitting the vehicle in half. The incident occurred at the intersection of McClellan Highway and Addison Street in Boston, Massachusetts. Another vehicle allegedly involved in the incident crashed into a guardrail, but the driver escaped serious injuries. 

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DUI Crash in Massachusetts Woman Had Beer in Pick up and Cocaine in Wallet

A mid-March motorcycle accident in Haverhill, Massachusetts involving a pickup truck left the motorcycle rider in serious condition and the pickup driver charged with DUI, possession of a Class B drug (cocaine), and leaving the scene of an injury accident among other possible charges. Police reported that the pickup driver had refused a breath test, though officers noted the distinctive odor of alcohol on her breath and numerous open containers of beer and other alcohol in the truck.

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Rollover Crash Teen Killed and Several Hurt on I93

Unfortunately, people are killed every day in car accidents around the country, but those tragedies are compounded when those killed are teenagers who have yet to make their mark in the world. In early March, a 17-year-old was killed in a rollover accident on I-93 in Canton, Massachusetts when the driver of the Jeep Wrangler, also a 17-year-old, apparently tried to cross over several lanes of traffic to get to an exit. His vehicle struck a Toyota Corolla on the ramp that caused the Jeep to roll over, ejecting the decedent who was a rear-seat passenger. He later died of his injuries at Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton.

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Worker Injured at Construction Site in Needham, Massachusetts

Construction work has long been recognized as a dangerous occupation, but a recent spate of work-related injuries has had Massachusetts safety advocates concerned. In early March of this year, a Needham man working on a new public safety headquarters at Chestnut and School Streets slipped and fell 15-20 feet into a pit. Although he did not sustain life-threatening injuries, other construction workers in recent months have not been so fortunate. 

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Pandemic’s Impact on Car Crashes in Boston Area

When the implications of the pandemic became all too clear and states and municipalities began to issue stay-at-home orders, many businesses closed or sent their employees home to work remotely. The impact on Massachusetts roads and highways became evident with the commensurate decrease in traffic. Anyone who drove on a major highway during rush hour could not help but notice that traffic volume was down considerably.

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$40M in Grants Awarded to Improve Road Rail Crossing Safety in 5 States Including Massachusetts

In an effort to address the increasing incidents and fatalities at railroad crossings in five states, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced that $40 million in grants were to be awarded to the states of Washington, California, New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. An eligibility factor was that the commuter authority in that state must have experienced at least one accident at a railway-highway crossing that was investigated and reported on by the National Transportation Safety Board between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2018.

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Resuming Jury Trials in Massachusetts

With the pandemic having shuttered many businesses and people being required to adhere to masking and social distancing rules, jury trials had been put on pause for both criminal and civil matters. Reports are that some 2,925 scheduled jury trials in Massachusetts since March 2020 have been put on hold. As any trial attorney can attest to, a significant delay in a trial can seriously jeopardize the rights of criminal and civil litigants. However, the state is now preparing to resume jury trials but with caution and significant safeguards in place.

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