A crash in Saugus which injured a police officer last week marked the latest incident in what seems to be a disturbing recent trend in our area. That late-night collision was the fourth time in less than two weeks that an alleged drunk driver has crashed into a work site on a Boston-area highway. These accidents have left at least four injured and one dead, and we hope these crashes won’t continue.
On June 27, a MassDOT worker was injured when an allegedly drunk driver drove into a work zone in the Ted Williams Tunnel, struck the worker, and continued on to crash into a state vehicle. The next day, an East Bridgewater man was killed as he worked on a line-painting job site on I-93 in Medford. In that crash, a drunk driver struck the worker, who had earlier expressed concerns about the safety of that night’s work, before crashing into a truck and causing minor injuries to a second worker.
A crash on Route 24 North in Raynham in the early hours of June 30 left a Bristol County Sheriff’s Department van heavily damaged, but fortunately no one was injured. A spokesperson for the department noted that if the van hadn’t been where it was, the workers on the site could have been injured or killed by the driver.
In the latest incident, early on the morning of July 7, a Revere officer was hurt when yet another suspected drunk driver ignored all warning signs and lights and crashed into a police car covering a pothole repair crew. The rogue vehicle struck the police car and then flipped over into the roadway. Fortunately, the officer received only very minor injuries and was released after visiting the hospital.
Construction sites, including highway work zones, are already dangerous areas. In 2014, construction accidents accounted for both hundreds of thousands of injuries and 899 deaths nationwide. Construction has always been a dangerous business for many different reasons. Heavy loads and large machines are involved—not to mention exposure to other hazards such as live electrical cables, sharp tools, and toxic chemicals. Work must also often be done at height, increasing the risk of a dangerous fall.
With so many hazards inherent in every job site, construction workers might be forgiven for overlooking safety risks outside the work zone. Unfortunately, there’s always the danger of something from the outside carrying in even more risk. Massachusetts has seen a dramatic increase in vehicle crashes at road and highway work sites. According to a review by the Boston Herald, there were 860 work zone crashes on state roads in 2015, up a disturbing 35 percent from the year before. In 2015, at least eight Massachusetts workers were struck and killed by vehicles while on the job.
Drunk driving was not a factor in every case, but it appears to have been involved in all of the incidents these past few weeks. The MassDOT Administrator noted that the problem has been recognized at all levels. “Impaired drivers are a menace on our roads regardless of whether there is a work zone in place or not,” he said. “We ask the public to not drink and drive.”
When you or someone close to you has been injured in a car crash, it’s important to take all of the steps possible to ensure physical and financial recovery. In addition to medical expenses and vehicle repair or replacement costs, you might also need to worry about lost wages, rehabilitation costs, unexpected out-of-pocket expenses, the costs of future care, and even the burden of emotional distress.
The laws in Massachusetts related to pursuing financial compensation for a personal injury caused in an automobile accident can be complex, and you should have someone who understands this legal terrain on your side. At Joel H. Schwartz, PC, we have decades of experience with this kind of case. We offer a free consultation to all new clients. Give us a call at 1-800-660-2270 or contact us online today to discuss the details of your unique case.