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Pedestrian dangers in Barnstable County

Barnstable County tied with Hampden County for the seventh highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the state in 2013.

Sharing busy roadways with passenger cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, motorcycles and commercial vehicles can be a dangerous thing for pedestrians in Massachusetts. Because of the lack of natural protection around a person on foot, the risk of sustaining serious injuries when hit by a motor vehicle can be great for pedestrians. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 326 people died in all vehicular accidents in Massachusetts in 2013. Of those deaths, 68 were pedestrians.

A county-level view

In reviewing the NHTSA data, it is seen that only six counties experienced more pedestrian fatalities than Barnstable County that year. Details include the following:

  • Middlesex County experienced 13 pedestrian deaths, more than any other county in the state.
  • Worcester, Essex and Suffolk Counties were the sites of 11, 10 and nine pedestrian fatalities, respectively.
  • Seven pedestrians lost their lives in Plymouth County.
  • In both Barnstable and Hampden Counties, five pedestrians each died after being hit by vehicles.

The total number of vehicular fatalities in Barnstable County was 16. With the five pedestrian death comprising a large number of the overall accident fatality count, the dangers faced by pedestrians can be easily seen.

A look at recent incidents

Pedestrians can find themselves victims of accidents virtually anywhere, anytime. Local news stories give a sense as to the variety of situations and consequences of these tragic collisions.

A driver who may have fallen asleep at the wheel veered out of his lane and onto the side of a road, striking and injuring six pedestrians. The accident happened early on a Sunday morning according to CapeCod.com. The driver was cited for a lane violation and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

In Yarmouth, a 55-year old driver was arrested and charged with two operating under the influence offenses. The NECN.com report noted that one offense was for motor vehicle homicide in the death of a 62-year old pedestrian. The second offense was for seriously injuring a second pedestrian in the same crash. The drunk driver hit the two victims with his van late one night near Parkers River Bridge.

The case against a driver responsible for a fatal pedestrian accident in 2013 has finally resulted in an official sentencing. CapeCode.com notes that the impaired driver injured two kids and killed a pedestrian. Upon entering a guilty plea to manslaughter by motor vehicle with OUI, the man was sentenced to a prison term of seven and a half to 10 years. The incarceration period will be followed by a five-year probation sentence.

How victims can get help

People who are injured as pedestrians or who lose loved ones in such accidents deserve help. Talking to an attorney promptly is always a recommended course of action in these cases.

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