Pedestrian hit by truck in Taunton while crossing street has died

A 32-year-old Taunton man — who police say was hit by a truck while attempting to walk across one of the most dangerous pedestrian crossings in the city — has died

Eric Morin, of 12 Coram St., was pronounced dead Thursday, according to a spokesman for Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Morin was struck at around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday, police said, when he stepped off the curb on the west side of Broadway and began walking toward East Broadway Street, in the general direction of an adjacent Cumberland Farms store.

“It’s just an unfortunate accident,” said TPD Lt. Paul Roderick, who conducted a reconstruction evaluation of the incident.

Roderick said Morin, whom he described as having been developmentally disabled, apparently pressed the pedestrian crossing button but didn’t wait for the flashing yellow light to change before stepping off the curb.

“He hit the light, but then he tried running across,” Roderick said.

The driver of the 1999 Chevrolet box truck, Humberto Dasilva, probably will not be charged in the tragic accident, Rodercik said.

Dasilva subsequently submitted to a urinalysis test at Morton Hospital. The results, Roderick, said, indicated he had no illegal substances in his blood stream at the time of the crash.

Morin initially was taken to Morton Hospital and shortly thereafter driven by ambulance to Beth Israel. Roderick said a MedFlight helicopter was not available at the time.

Roderick said the fact that Morin might have failed to wait for the lights to change should not suggest that the Broadway crossing is safe for other pedestrians.

“I can’t tell you how many drivers went through the yellow light while I was out there,” collecting evidence, Roderick said.

Drivers heading north or south on the heavily traveled Broadway/Route 138 are accustomed to seeing a flashing yellow light; the light facing East Broadway Street flashed red.

After a pedestrian hits the signal button, the Broadway lights first change to solid yellow, which requires drivers to slow to a stop if possible, and then solid red.

When a Taunton Daily Gazette reporter hit the crossing button on three occasions within a span of five minutes, only once did traffic as a whole come to a stop.

On one instance a car drove through the solid yellow. Another time a car never slowed and went through the red light.

Roderick said the signal system at Broadway and East Broadway Street dates back to the 1960s. Unlike contemporary traffic control devices it lacks any sort of visual aid like an illuminated hand icon or countdown for seconds remaining.

Source: Taunton Gazette August 3, 2012

Personal Injury, Uncategorized

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