A highway is not a safe place for stopped cars or pedestrians, especially at night. Drivers are usually traveling at high speeds and not expecting to see stationary vehicles or people walking. Added to the risks is the scourge of Massachusetts’ roads, drunk driving, which too often leads to tragic car accidents. Nonetheless, sometimes unavoidable circumstances cause people to find themselves facing the risk of stopping and even walking on a highway.
On a recent Sunday night this happened to a 38-year-old Lunenberg woman. Shortly after midnight on an interstate going past Shrewsbury, she accidentally damaged her car when she struck the guardrail on a median. Leaving the vehicle at the roadside, she set off on foot to get assistance. That was when an allegedly drunk driver first crashed into her parked car and then into her, dragging her under his vehicle. Police described a trail of blood that was about 150 yards.
Other motorists stopped to render assistance to the unconscious woman and called for emergency services. Her injuries were critical, including burns, punctured lungs, broken bones, including her spine, and a badly lacerated face.
Reports indicate the apprehended 50-year-old Worcester man appeared apathetic and never inquired into her condition. He ignored the woman and the people tending her, and actually walked past her and rested on a guardrail, putting distance between himself and the accident. When police arrived, the man claimed that someone else had struck the woman and driven away. Police reported that the man smelled of alcohol and acted drunk, but would only admit to having had one drink and would not submit to a breath alcohol test.
Law enforcement officers obtained a judge’s order to compel the man to have a blood test. Even so, they had to use handcuffs and physical restraint to force him to submit to having blood drawn. He was charged with drunk driving.
The criminal court system will render a verdict in this case and the family of the injured, comatose woman may want to file a lawsuit.
If you or a family member are hurt in a car accident caused by another, personal injury attorneys will be able to steer you through restitution laws to seek an award of financial compensation for medical costs, post-hospital care, loss of wages and other benefits allowed by the law.
Source: The MetroWest Daily News, “Police: Woman struck, dragged by car in Shrewsbury,” Brad Petrishen, March 25, 2014