State Police: Drunk driver hits, kills highway worker on I-93

For the second day in a row, State Police report a highway worker hit by a drunk, this time fatally on I-93 in Medford.

James Scoville, 31, of Chelmsford, was arrested on OUI charges after the 2:45 a.m. crash near exit 33, State Police say.

According to State Police:

The suspect collided with a worker for Hi-Way Safety Systems, who was on foot retrieving traffic cones following a line painting operation. That worker was fatally injured. His name, age, and hometown are not being released at this time.

A second company worker, a 33-year-old Taunton man, was on the rear of a company truck that was hit by the suspect. That worker sustained minor injuries.

Yesterday, a MassDOT worker was seriously injured while in a work zone near the Ted Williams Tunnel, allegedly by another drunk driver.

Innocent, etc.

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They don't even need to be

They don't even need to be self-driving. If we can advance the technology only far enough to get two things (and we're close already, I think), we're in for a massive improvement: cars that don't allow their drivers to hit anything, and cars that don't allow their drivers to exceed the speed limit.

Some state will be the first to mandate that cars have those two features. I hope it's ours.

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Already exists

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Cars already have speed governors on them, they're just set at 130-165mph.

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Old Tech

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Old Technology exists that would allow drivers with a .BAC over a certain level to not be able to start their vehicle. Yes I know there are ways around it, but maybe having it in a car would help. Your chronic drunks would find a way around it, but maybe those just out for a night and had too much would think twice about it or young people. If you are asking a sober person to blow into your device, hopefully one of you is smart enough to call a cab or figure out a way home.

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MAYBE collision-detection

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MAYBE collision-detection automatic braking as a mandated feature will be a good (and workable) idea. I've seen some interesting concept videos/simulations from carmakers and look forward to seeing more.

Beyond that (steering, etc...) - the technology isn't quite there yet, and the infrastructure would be prohibitively expensive.

I do admit that some body or somebody will try to enact such a requirement (either by legislation or decree) as a feel-good measure, independent of whether or not it passes any test of thorough reasoning/evidence.

Governors, even tied to speed limit - not a very good idea. Again, the infrastructure would be expensive. Mostly, though, there are many situations where a driver needs to be able to exceed the speed limit for their own safety and/or the safety of others.

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"Mostly, though, there are

"Mostly, though, there are many situations where a driver needs to be able to exceed the speed limit for their own safety and/or the safety of others."

Like what?

Even assuming such situations exist, you just build in a big red button that the driver pushes that releases the speed limit block - but also notifies the authorities, who can later confirm that the driver's actions were warranted.

Why would the infrastructure be expensive? My old Garmin dedicated GPS device from a decade ago knew the posted speed limit most places. I'm slightly surprised Google and Waze had never incorporated it into their apps.

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>Like what?

>Like what?

Passing another car.

>I'm slightly surprised Google and Waze had never incorporated it into their
>apps.

Waze does include it.

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So you believe that sitting behind a

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tractor-trailer that's going at or slightly below the speed limit is safer than momentarily exceeding the speed limit to pass them, thus giving yourself a more clear view of the road.

With attitudes like these, it's no wonder that 80 percent of 4-wheeler/big rig crashes are the fault of the 4-wheeler driver.

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Cute

But we're talking about the real world here.

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The real world

The real world where 30,000 people a year die in the US, in part, because some asshole is in a big hurry?

Those are real people who get real dead and cost us all real money.

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The real world where most people realize that,

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when passing another vehicle (say a large truck for one), the safest thing to do is to accelerate in order to get around said vehicle in a quick and efficient manner. Even if that means going above the posted speed limit for 30 seconds or so.

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Like

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Like

  • passing (in some circumstances)
  • emergency avoidance of hazards (such as somebody about to hit you from behind)
  • getting out of the way of police/fire/EMS
  • transporting somebody to the hospital yourself in a medical emergency (when a speed above the posted limit is safe in existing conditions)

...just to name the first few that come to mind.

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As noted above, what are the

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As noted above, what are the scenarios where you can legally exceed the speed limit to pass a car?

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Legally?

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Legally?

Oh, in any of the circumstances I described above there's a chance an officer might write me up (and a judge uphold the ticket), but my safety comes first and I'll take my chances arguing that in traffic court if I have to.

Specific passing scenarios?

  • if someone ahead of me is driving erratically, like speed up, slow down, lane drifting - could be drunk, tired, whatever. In many situations the safest course is to slow down and let them get well ahead of you. In some situations that might not be safe if that's going to back you against traffic coming up behind you at high speed - in which case I'd consider passing the erratic driver as quickly as possible and then getting well ahead of them
  • if I'm at legal limit passing somebody and the safe gap that was my destination is suddenly filled because of an unexpected, erratic or aggressive move by another motorist and if it's not safe to stay where I am or drop back into the spot I came from (again, probably because of traffic coming up from behind), then the safest course might be to drive faster and get to the next safe destination gap
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AG Healy can do this

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AG Healy can do this effective immediately with consumer protection powers as recently affirmed by a federal court.

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I'd like

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I'd like the best of both worlds: drive myself when I'm able, because I actually enjoy driving. Yes, even in traffic. I know, weird, huh?

But have the car take over when I can't. You know, like KITT. And I'd like to choose the voice/personality of the car's AI, please. XD

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Self-driving cars would be a handout to the automotive industry

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Fix public transit. I'm tired of subsidizing all the private car drivers, half of whom drive with a sense of entitlement and irresponsibility.

I can't even ride a bike here, because I'm not willing to accept the risk from the large number of people who don't take driving seriously.

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I don't understand this at all

What is being handed out to the automotive industry by whom? Self-driving cars are being developed by the automotive and tech industries. What handouts and subsidies are you referring to?

And even if there are handouts and subsidies that I'm not aware of, I would much rather live in a world where the more than 90% of car accidents that are caused by human error are eliminated. It seems like you're concerned about the dangers that come with human operated cars too, so I'm not sure why you're opposed to taking the wheel out of people's hands.

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All new products for people to buy,

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financial incentives (like that gave us SUVs), continued subsidies through roads, police, health, and other costs.

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How many times has Baker talked about Opioids vs Drunks?

Drunk driving kills more innocent people then opioids yet that's the only drug problem the governor wants to talk about. If drunk drivers only killed themselves it wouldn't matter but largely they are fine while people just going about their lives are killed. Drunk driving is the equivalent of firing a gun blindly into a crowd and should be punished as such.

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Newsflash

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The two are very likely connected.

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Both are problems

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One is characterized by driving. That makes it sacred because driving.

Can't be taking licenses away.

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I was watching them

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Sad. I was just watching these guys paint lines in the exit 32 rotary around midnight. Just a paint truck and a few construction trucks, no police. The one guy hung off the back corner of a truck placing cones and picking them up in another pass about 15 minutes later. Certainly exposed to traffic. I thought it strange there were no police as they seem to always be there for any construction I see out my window, but I guess a contractor doesn't get the same benefit as the real massdot. The painting probably was not enough of a disruption to slow light traffic as it was just on the sides of the road.

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That does

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That does seem odd they didn't have a detail. I'm surprised.

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Usually painting crews and

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Usually painting crews and guys laying down cones don't have details with them, anyways RIP the to worker. Drunk Drivers are absolutely the worst type of human beings.

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On a practical note...

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Given these recent events, for those traveling this holiday weekend, I would really advise against speeding through work zones. Even if you think it's ok to do, I imagine the state police will take a dim view of it.

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Yes, after this really bad

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Yes, after this really bad week for those who work in/on the highways, I would highly recommend being much more circumspect about safe driving practices near/in work zones. I wouldn't be surprised if there's something like zero-tolerance enforcement for a while.

That being said, there generally aren't any work zones in place on holiday weekends (except 24/7 barriers for long-term ongoing work).

As for the holiday weekend, I'm sure there will be a lot of OUI enforcement.

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That doesn't excuse DUI and killing another human being.

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It doesn't matter if it's on the weekend or during the week. People have absolutely no business DUI and killing other, innocent people.

Frankly, I don't care if a drunk kills him or herself when s/he's behind the wheel. What matters if is they take others with them,

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Until our state treats

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Until our state treats drinking and driving seriously, with a mandatory minimum of at least a month in jail and year license suspension with regular meetings with a probation officer to explain how they are getting around without driving, these people will continue to murder and hurt innocent people. Now, it is only taken seriously when an accident occurs. Otherwise its just "drivers being drivers" and nothing is done.

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So Horrible

My father was very seriously injured working a paving crew when I was eight years old because some dimwit travelling salesman didn't merge into the unblocked lane and plowed him over.

The guy had been drinking and taking sleeping pills.

He survived, but he had disabilities for the rest of his life that contributed to his sedentary lifestyle and his ultimate demise.

I feel so bad for this man's family. I would say that I can't imagine what they are going through, but I honestly know something rather close to that. I can only hope that they have enough compensation to get them through the financial burdens, even though nothing will ever replace what they lost.

Slow down. Pay attention. Drive safely.

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An interesting comparison

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In the UK, if people are going out to drink (like, more than a beer with dinner), then afterwards they will take a cab or walk. When I found out that some friends were walking about 2-3 miles home, I was curious. It's such a short yet long distance that driving after 2-3 drinks wouldn't even be a second thought here in the states. It seems odd that they'd have planned to leave the car at home but the whole country is much like this. Someone sober will drive or everyone will catch a taxi or walk home.

I still drive sometimes when I know they wouldn't. But I pause each time I do now and question my choices. I think they are just a bit too cautious. But would I think that if I mistakenly killed a highway worker? Our country has lost its empathy. Some people are fatally selfish.

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Not true

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I hate driving after a couple of drinks, regardless of my actual blood alcohol level, and I have hoofed it 3-4 miles home on more than one occasion, slept it off, and biked back to get my car later.

I'll also take a long walk to burn some off before getting behind the wheel.

Even more often: I just bike to drink. Walk the bike home if I have to.

This is what is called being a responsible adult.

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Vastly different drunk driving laws

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You can be cited for and get serious consequences if you have more than a single drink and get behind the wheel in the UK or Ireland.

Last time I was there, the limit was 0.04.

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Nope

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It's 0.08 BAC.

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