Boston had its first major snowstorm of the season earlier this month, and before the flakes had stopped falling, a crash caused by the slippery conditions had claimed the life of a pedestrian in the city. The victim, Jessica Cosman, was walking on the sidewalk along Sunset Street in Mission Hill when a driver lost control of his car and struck her, trapping her under the vehicle. Although witnesses and neighbors immediately tried to help, they were not able to free Cosman and she died at the scene.
The crash happened early in the evening during the January 7 storm as the snow was still coming down. Boston accumulated around six to eight inches before the storm was through. Residents who were interviewed noted that other vehicles had been having trouble on that street all afternoon, and that some had already hit the curb (although none were reported to have reached the sidewalk). The circumstances of this accident show why it’s important for pedestrians to stay aware of their surroundings at all times—especially in bad weather.
Some have suggested that streets in the neighborhood are inherently dangerous, citing not only this accident but also a 2009 fire-truck crash which killed a firefighter and injured four people. That crash was blamed in part on the steepness of the street but was primarily due to poor maintenance and human error.
Since early 2015, Boston has been embarked on an ambitious plan to reduce traffic fatalities within city limits to zero by 2030. About twenty people die from vehicle collisions each year in the city, the majority of them pedestrians. By takings steps to improve safety, such as reducing speed limits and redesigning dangerous intersections, the city hopes to reduce that number to almost none.
Through the first ten months of 2016, there were eleven pedestrian fatalities in Boston compared to only four motor vehicle occupants. On the positive side, there were no cyclist deaths reported within that time.
So far, 2017 is off to a rough start. This was the only pedestrian death reported during the storm, but it wasn’t the only one in the first week of 2017. On New Year’s Day, an alleged drunk driver struck and killed a man on Saratoga Street in East Boston.
The next day, a body was found in the O’Neill Tunnel, likely the victim of an encounter between a pedestrian and a car. The victim has not yet been publicly identified, and that accident is still under investigation.
More than 600 pedestrians were injured seriously enough in vehicle collisions in Boston last year to require medical attention. When you or someone close to you has been hit while walking along or crossing a street, the law is always in your favor and the careless motor vehicle operator should be held accountable for the damage he or she causes.
Joel H. Schwartz, PC, has extensive experience with pedestrian accident law and has won numerous cases of this kind. We offer a free consultation to all clients to discuss the specifics of their case. Call us today at 1-800-660-2270 or contact us online through the form on this page to schedule an appointment.