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Norwood man charged with running down teacher in Somerville crosswalk

Somerville Police and the Middlesex County District Attorney's office report the arrest of Edward Clark, 55, of Norwood, for the Feb. 8 crash that killed Allison Donovan, an educator in the Watertown school system.

The preliminary investigation suggests at approximately 7:16 p.m. Clark was allegedly operating a 2003 Black Ford F150 pick-up truck traveling eastbound on Powder House Boulevard, when he allegedly struck two females, who were in the crosswalk at the intersection of Powder House Boulevard and Hardan Road, before fleeing the scene. Somerville Police subsequently responded and both women were transported to area hospitals. Allison Donovan, 40, of Somerville, was transported to Mount Auburn Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The other victim was treated and released.

Following the crash, investigators worked with community partners to locate several images recorded immediately following the crash believed to be the suspect vehicle in the areas of Powder House Boulevard, Curtis Street and University Avenue that appeared to show a full-size, black pick-up truck with a cover over the bed of the truck. Today, a Tufts University Police Officer located a truck with front-end damage believed to be the suspect vehicle on University Avenue and notified Somerville Police. Investigators located the suspect and registered owner of the vehicle and subsequently placed him under arrest.

Clark was formaly charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing death, authorities say.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

Even though MGL stipulates a minimum of 30 months in prison (and a maximum of 10 years). Let's hope the DA's office does their job.

Good job by the Somerville police and other agencies tracking this scumbag down.

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Voting closed 52

A scumbag, a killer and a coward. Thirty months would be an insult to the woman he brutally killed. Even 10 years seems lacking. He hit two people, after all.

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Voting closed 49

slap on the wrist in a case like this? How does a driver get away lightly with leaving the scene of a crash that killed a pedestrian? You make it sound like it's a routine occurrence. Is that really how it works? That's ugly to contemplate.

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This is the same DA who has refused to prosecute motorists running down cyclists. Why should we expect her to prosecute the same motorists running down pedestrians?

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Voting closed 21

Please research sentences for similar crimes. And welcome to MA!

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Voting closed 7

Is this a slap in on the wrist? Seems pretty light for taking a life.

https://www.capecodtimes.com/news/20181011/centerville-woman-sentenced-i...

In this case there is nothing online (from a quick Google search) indicating she was sentenced at all. Next court hearing was to be November 27th.
https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2018/09/07/police-arrest-suspect-...

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Voting closed 13

https://theswellesleyreport.com/2013/02/grand-jury-no-criminal-charges-i...

https://boston.cbslocal.com/2018/01/23/surveillance-video-fatal-cyclist-...

The only time off the top of my head when someone faced repercussions for vehicular homicide is the tow truck driver who was stabbed after running over the assailant's mother. I can't find any charges filed against Thomas Fogerty of Norton. "I didn't see her!" is a great excuse apparently.

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Voting closed 16

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cumbria-46209584

https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/emma-kent-jailed-over-cyclis...

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/midwest/ct-michigan-cycl...

Look, I know many bike zealots want any driver who hills and/or kills and/or injures a cyclist and/or pedestrian to be locked up for life and the key to be thrown away, but that is not how the legal system works. You may think that these folks "only get a slap on the wrist" but, in many instances, is clearly not the case.

Now you all may think it is "not fair" that someone only gets a sentence not to your liking but unless you are involved in the case, providing legal defense for example, you really do not have any expertise in the matter (like myself).

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Voting closed 8

2 of the three examples are from overseas! LMAO

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Voting closed 49

Listen, I ride my bike and walk as much as possible and think the city needs to do far more re: pedestrian safety but we don't love under mob rule.

Change your vote, change the politicians, change the DA, then change the city.

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Other countries are more likely to hold drivers responsible.

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What we need to do is change the culture and be loud and outspoken about the things that are problems, which was what the OP was doing here. Pointing out what happens in Europe as a purported "counterexample" in this case is trying to minimize or distract from those problems.

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@whyaduck

None of your examples seems to have fled the scene.

I'm not sure how the sentencing calculus works here, but it seems like leaving someone to die while you flee should result in in a big boost to total sentence.

I wouldn't expect our pickup driver to get the book thrown at him for carelessness. That doesn't seem to happen much around here.

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Voting closed 3

Of the excuses this guy will come up with to blame the victims.

"but it was dark!"

"but they were wearing dark clothing"

"but they came out of nowhere"

"but I was distracted by ___"

"but there was glare"

etc

None of these, of course, are excuses, but they'll try.

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as a cyclist, do you think it is wise to wear black clothing? When I rode, it was a neon yellow jacket and a bright helmet (night and day). We have very dark sections (no lights) of my town where if someone is wearing all black, it is difficult to see them. So, if I hit that person, am I at fault?

Glare is a very real issue. Again, I can leave my house at a certain time in the morning and turn onto a road that has very bad sun glare. Do I wait till the sun is in the right place in the sky for me to drive? No and most do not since we have to get to work. So I try to drive as carefully as possible but it is not an ideal situation.

Again, this idea of blaming the victim. Saying that one should excise wise judgement when walking and/or cycling at night, i.e. wearing bright clothing at night and/or a reflective vest (which I use when I run) and/or wearing a lighted arm band, is not blaming the victim. They are precautions that can be taken in order to protect oneself.

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Voting closed 11

Is glare an excuse for leaving the scene of an accident? Or does one not really notice plowing down two human beings in a crosswalk?

Myself, I wear a full suit of armor when walking or biking at night. I recommend it -- it's a precaution that can be taken in order to protect oneself.

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Voting closed 26

whyaduck can easily point to a case in Djibouti where a motorist was momentarily blinded by the summer solstice sun, ran over a toddler, backed over the kid, and again ran over the kid only to be acquitted by a jury of his peers.

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By "accident" I do mean "homicidal crash"

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THEY WERE IN A FUCKING CROSSWALK

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YUP. Nothing else should have to be said.

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  • Do you think it is wise to wear Black clothing"
  • It is dIfficult to see them
  • When I rode, it was a Neon yellow jacket and a bright helmet
  • Glare is a very real issue.
  • we have to get to wOrk
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Voting closed 35

if I hit that person, am I at fault?

Probably. Are they riding on the road, with traffic, with a white front light and a rear reflector? Then almost certainly yes.

Glare

Driver at fault, period, the end. Buy sunglasses. Pull over if you can't see. Be prepared.

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Voting closed 9

Just shut the fuck up.

Seriously.

Do you even read the recycled toilet paper you smear on this site when it comes to your motor vehicle fellation fetish?

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Voting closed 16

The language, jeeez

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Just say earmuffs, then you can say whatever you want.

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Should I have included a trigger warning for you?

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Voting closed 4

What about my response indicates I was triggered? Your initial comment suggests you were triggered. As long as Adam has no problems with other commenters swearing at each other, have at it.

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When there is glare or fog or gloom of night, drivers should slow down in order to react in time when they can't see well.

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It involves a fjord, an icy patch and a dead Norwegian mother. As I'm sure that whyaduck will point out gleefully, Johan Frederikssen is a free man thanks to an Oslo city ordinance that prevents jail time for vehicular homicide after the sun sets in winter months.

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Pull over. Get off the road until the situation resolves.

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If you were hit and killed and and the driver said, "Sorry, but I had to get to work," would you think that was a justifiable reason to take your life?

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You shouldn't be driving. Take a cab, take the T, or get someone else to drive you, or wait until conditions are better that you can actually see the other road users.

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And don't drive a (probably unnecessary) pickup truck that perches you so high above your surroundings that you might actually not see someone in front of you!

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Of the excuses this guy will come up with to blame the victims.

"but it was dark!"

"but they were wearing dark clothing"

"but they came out of nowhere"

"but I was distracted by ___"

"but there was glare"

etc

None of these, of course, are excuses, but they'll try.

The only Bingo board you need is a single square marked "I didn't see her."

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I was on my way to a date and even though I tried to convince myself I hit a barrel or something I knew it was a person but then I went out to dinner anyway and by then it was too late to turn myself in so they had to wait until I went to a garage to see about getting the dent out of my car to find me - according to the Globe

Too stupid to even try to blame it on solar glare, but still free to go after pinkyswearing he wouldn't drive again until his court date

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both parties were in their late 60's. Might that be relevant?

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I agree that the criminal penalty will likely be insufficient, but he will also face civil action brought by the family if he’s found guilty of chasing her death. It's not enough but it will be additional punishment beyond what the criminal statute calls for.

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And that is in the prescription of the law.

But letting the guy walk with no bail? That is within the jurisdiction of the DA, and the DA has failed.

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the 30 months in prison would be for an OUIL which would be impossible to prove. So most likely he would be facing MGL c90 s.24(2)(a1/2) which is a minimum 1 year and 10 years max for the victim who died, and another 2 years for the person who lived.

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We need to tighten up the "leaving the scene" laws such that they rival or exceed the punishment for OUI. That way you have no incentive to flee - in fact, you have a disincentive to flee.

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Leaving a scene of property damage: Max 2 years in the HOC
Leaving a scene of injury: Max 2 years in the HOC
Leaving a scene of death: Max 10 years in State prison (the only felony of the three)

OUIL: Max 2.5 years in HOC (1st and 2nd offense)
OUIL (3rd Offense and more): Max 5 years in State Prison

OUIL causing serious bodily injury: Max 2.5 years in HOC if driving isn't negligent and Max 5 years if driving is negligent

Here is the kicker: If you are charged with motor vehicle homicide (you kill someone with your car but you don't leave the scene and you aren't drunk and you didn't drive reckless or negligent) the max penalty is 2.5 years in the HOC and it is a misdemeanor.

If you are drunk and kill someone the max is 15 years in state prison. So like you say Swirly, there is no incentive for this guy to stop if he was actually drunk because now they cant prove he was drunk.

In the end he is looking at 10 years in prison now instead of 15 if were drunk. So the penalty of leaving the scene of a death should be higher.

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Voting closed 16

How about an automatic OUI if you leave the scene of an accident. The assumption should be that a sober driver will know that they were in an accident and stop.

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At the very least, the penalty should be the same, with the same impact on one's driving record / ability to get license back.

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Why is there jail time if you kill someone with your car and you weren't even negligent?

It sounds like they need to change the definition of negligent.

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It makes complete sense to discourage people from leaving the scene of a crash, but if those penalties are worse than penalties for actually hurting/killing someone with a car, isn't that kind of like closing the barn door after the horse already ran over a pedestrian in a crosswalk?

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They denied several key Somerville road safety funding requests; including money for Kensington Ave under I-93; the most dangerous ped & bike walk in the city.

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Per the report, he was seen on surveillance and then later found in the same area. If I read the map correctly, University Avenue appears to be a Tufts service road, more or less. The fact that they arrested him shortly after seeing the truck makes me think that his plate was on record with Tufts, and that he was IDed via that route.

I also saw an earlier teevee report that Ms Donovan wasn't only struck, but was pulled underneath and dragged until her body broke free of the truck. Did anyone else get this information? Was it corroborated? If accurate, would this affect the charges?

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Can we pass a law where Leaving the Scene carries the same penalty as DUI? Currently there's an incentive for drivers who have been drinking to flee, because leaving the scene carries a lesser penalty. The license loss, jail time, and fines should be the same for either.

Do that first, then have fair, even-handed enforcement of local traffic laws.

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