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Pedestrian Killed While Crossing Busy Taunton Intersection

August 29, 2012


A pedestrian was recently killed at the intersection of Broadway and East Broadway in Taunton. 32-year-old Eric Morin of Taunton was struck by a box truck on Broadway Street after he stepped off of the curb to cross the street. According to Lt. Paul Roderick of the Taunton Police Department, Morin allegedly pressed a pedestrian crossing button, but failed to wait for the light to change before he stepped into the roadway. Following the incident, Morin, who was reportedly developmentally disabled, was transported to Morton Hospital by ambulance. He was later transferred to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston where he died the next day.

Following the crash, the driver of the box truck, Humberto DaSilva, was tested for drugs and alcohol at Morton Hospital. According to Roderick, DaSilva was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the fatal crash. Roderick also said the driver would likely not face charges over the accident because it was unclear whether Morin attempted to cross against the light.

According to Roderick, the intersection is dangerous for pedestrians no matter what caused this particular accident. The police Lieutenant said he personally witnessed many drivers speed through the intersection while he investigated the fatal accident despite the flashing yellow light. A Reporter from the Taunton Daily Gazette allegedly found that the pedestrian crossing light failed to function properly and drivers often ignored the signal when it did work.

Roderick blamed the age of the traffic signal for the reportedly unsafe conditions at the intersection. The signal at issue normally flashes yellow on Broadway Street and red on East Broadway Street. When a pedestrian seeks to cross, the flashing yellow light changes to a solid red combined with a solid yellow to warn drivers they will need to stop. Finally, the light becomes a solid red and pedestrians are allowed to cross the roadway. Roderick said because the pedestrian light dates back to the 1960's, it often confuses drivers who are accustomed to more contemporary pedestrian signals. Additionally, he believes drivers tend to ignore the light because they regularly see it flashing yellow in warning.

Morin's neighbor, Shiela Cook, stated most people in who live nearby are aware of the dangerous conditions at the intersection. Still, Cook said she didn't blame the driver who hit Morin. She believes the City should have replaced the traffic light long ago. The Transportation Planning Manager at the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District, James Hadfield, said flashing lights are not an effective tool to slow traffic. Instead, he stated they provide drivers with a "false sense of security." Hadfield believes the traffic signal at issue should be updated, but cites financial hurdles as a potential reason for the City's delay.

Other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians are placed at risk of being injured in an accident with a car or truck every day. Some common causes of car accidents include hazardous or dangerous road conditions, speeding, impaired drivers, inattentive drivers, and motor vehicle defects. When a pedestrian is struck by a car or truck, the resulting injuries are often catastrophic and life threatening. The victim of a car or pedestrian accident may be entitled to recover compensation for the cost of medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, temporary or permanent disability, loss of income, and wrongful death. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can answer any questions you may have and help you file your case.

If you were hurt, or a family member was killed in a pedestrian or other accident, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Sousa & Sousa, P.C. Our hardworking Bridgewater personal injury lawyers have more than 37 years of combined experience helping Massachusetts clients achieve fair compensation following an unexpected injury accident. The Law Offices of Sousa & Sousa assists injured clients in Bridgewater, Brockton, Easton, Taunton, Stoughton, and other surrounding towns. To speak with an experienced personal injury attorney today, call the Law Offices of Sousa & Sousa at (508) 230-5300 in Brockton, or contact us through the law firm's website.

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