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Two dead, seven injured after SUV crashes into West Newton pizza place

Sweet Tomatoes crash

Sweet Tomatoes scene. Photo by Echoplex.

WCVB reports two people inside Sweet Tomatoes, 1279 Washington St., in West Newton, died when an SUV crashed into the restaurant tonight - and that seven other people were injured.

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getting really fed up with drivers and their shitty cars. Peak oil where are thou. why do u [email protected]$$3$ need SUVS in the first place clearly they are more of a hazard oh yea cuz ppls stupid status symbols.

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Same OP, I motion passenger vehicles of excessive weight require a separate license, too many people driving these things like coupes. also city of boston, you can ban silly string why not SUVs.

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Take the anti-SUV nonsense elsewhere. Plus, a VW Tiguan is hardly a vehicle of "excessive weight."

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is driving.

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username/post combo

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username/post combo

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Tiguan weighs less than a Ford taurus but continue being an idiot

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defend your silly automobile

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Then sure, no problem. If somebody makes statements that can't withstand reality they should consider doing research or not lying.

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First of all, people are dead and injured, and an excellent local business is shattered tonight...

But you've gotta rant about SUVs, oil... Do you have some info that makes it clear that the crash was caused by the fact that the vehicle is an SUV? (A questionable term in this case, cause that appears to be a VW Tiguan (essentially a tall Golf), which typically stop and turn just fine. Why is this car a hazard?

Plus, even if it were a massive, unwieldy, not really fit for the streets kind of military HumVee type thing, you're just speculating that the crash occurred because of he vehicle and not some other factor or happening. TL;dr pipe down, por favor.

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found the 20th century auto lover

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In the street

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I did and was doored by another clueless inattentive asshole, any more quips?

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They didn't finish the job.

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approve of scumquistador's comment that a cyclist should have been killed by the drive of a motor vehicle.

15 of you have no regard for human life.

Disgusting.

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i never mentioned jack about cyclists. i simply suggested an efficient and clean way for him to go away

that somebody assumed this would happen on a bicycle and then held him responsible for his theoretical actions on said bicycle is actually amazing & hilarious and indicative of an equally anti cyclist agenda ---(EDIT: well, i guess if you believe he was being serious about being doored, you can remove my "assumed" and "theoretical", which actually just makes the rest of the anti-cycle stuff even funnier. )

as somebody that uses car, bike, and T, i just realize that you're all assholes no matter how you decide to commute

god bles

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to what's going on in front of you (the basic rule of thumb for operating a vehicle on the street) and perhaps you won't wind up getting "doored'. Oh right, far easier to pass a silly law that puts the responsibility on somebody else for your stupidity.

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I bike pretty slowly and if I'm up against parked cars always try to check as I approach to see if someone's in the car who might potentially open their door. Basically if I'm in a situation where I might get doored, that's all I think about. But even then I have to be fairly close to the car to make that judgement, and if a door is opened I'll probably have time to brake but likely will still hit the door, likely in a way that could cause me to bounce off and into oncoming traffic. I do my part, but there's no harm in raising driver awareness so that they take the 2 seconds needed to check for bicyclists before opening their door. (honestly I think the larger problem is that bikes and cars don't mix on tight city streets, which means one or the other has to go (not gonna happen) or more protected bike lanes (better solution))

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it only takes seeing it happen once/one close call to keep one eye on the drivers side doors of every car you're biking past .

conversely you truly are an asshole if you're in a car and don't look first. this is 100% about situational awareness, which is ~*a two way street*~

i mean, to me, the driver that doors somebody that says "well that guy on the bike should have looked!" that guy isn't wrong- he's an asshole and worthy of a knock in the jaw- but he isn't wrong. but he's an asshole because he definitely didn't look either, or else the situation never happens.

of course, there are times when both/all parties involved can try their best and still fail :shrug:

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You're at fault if you open your car door and it is hit by someone/thing.

While I agree that the person riding the bike or operating a vehicle should pay attention and avoid collisions with opened doors, the person opening the door is also required to do so. And according to insurance companies - they have even more responsibility to pay attention.

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If you want to get even more depressed click on the Driving link under this article. Boston area drivers are killing people at a shocking rate in 2016 and practically nothing is being done to prevent further death. Raising T fares and cutting late night service will put more cars on the road which will put more people at risk.

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These types of accidents happen much more frequently more than ever , still state legislatures can prevent cars from barreling into crowded public places such as resturaunts and malls or open sidewalk cafe seating areas close to street, heavy duty STEEL GURDRAILS is the answer,..

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They can stop handing out drivers' licenses to anyone who shows up at the RMV not totally reeking of gin, and they can start pulling people over for traffic violations so they don't correctly assume they can get away with everything until it's too late.

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If only MA regulated driving like they do gun ownership, and punished bad driving like they do random shooting.

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You mean everyone would drive without a license, and getting caught driving without a license wouldn't even get you a slap on the wrist?

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You people are assholes. People died. Nobody knows what happened yet. Did the driver have a seizure? Heart attack? Brakes fail? Was in an accident and pushed into the pizza place? Enough with the stupid fucking generalizations "cars are bad" " drivers shouldn't have licenses".

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i dont think so since they were released from the hospital already

though your point still stands mostly

also cars ARE bad. just not mine. and drivers SHOULDNT have licenses. except me.

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I can only imagine the lawfare and uproar if Boston only handed out restricted drivers licenses following an up to six month application process, required a police driving exam every six years, and had a SUV/specific car model ban.

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Right, why try to deal with the problem with practical solutions like safety guardrails, when we can just punish people instead.

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but a berm aint one

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The answer is self-driving cars.

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Yeah, then drivers can legally claim they have no responbility and blame google or tesla, and tesla or google can blame the driver, and no one will be liable for accidents anymore. A self driving car crashed into a bus in CA last month and the googlers said their precious algorithm would have anticipated the bus yielding.

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I can't imagine that self driving cars could possibly be anything but a vast improvement.

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will not just put more cars on the road, it will put more DRUNK DRIVERS on the road.

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Actually something is being done, thanks to the Swedes. http://www.visionzeroboston.org/

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More cars on the street mean the buses still in service will go even slower, forcing more people to re-evaluate the worth of a pass if they can't where they're going.

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We will hear the enablers say "the driver is going to have to live with this, that's enough punishment, but they should have to pay to repair the restaurant." And then something shallow like "prayers for all (even the killer)."

The driver will have to pay for the damage to to the restaurant, but I'm betting they wont spend any time in jail for killing 2 people. Property damage is taken more seriously than killing in MA.

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The driver will have to pay for the damage to to the restaurant

Suuuuure they will...

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It only took the first 8 posts to get where I expected to be after 60 or so here

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Nevermind that living in Newton without a car sucks.

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That living in Newton without a car was the design basis for the entire city plan and design.

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That doesn't change the reality of the situation

Also, you need to cite that.

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"living in Newton without a car was the design basis for the entire city plan and design" couldn't be further off-base. There are maybe 10 voluntarily car-free households in Newton. The city is about 6 miles long by 5 miles wide and for the majority of Newtonians (i.e. those who aren't on the D-line), public transit is awful.

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Newton for the most part was laid out when there were no automobiles, so technically she is correct. Newton was developed along the rail lines along with Commonwealth Avenue, which had a streetcar running along it. The hole in her theory is the area around Oak Hill. That is post World War II construction with drivers in mind.

Now, the question of how car free the average Newtonian can be today is debatable, but Newton was designed around the train and trolley, like many suburbs of Boston.

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So the 1,485 streets and 320 miles of roads, including two eight-lane interstate highways, should not be considered part of the city "plan and design," I guess.

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Look, if you don't care about the history of Newton, that's okay with me. Just try not to be ignorant about it.

Newton developed in the 19th century as a commuter suburb, with the villages developing along the 2 rail lines that still run through the city (one of which did have an interstate highway built next to it.) Later, Commonwealth Avenue was laid out with a trolley line along the median. That development is the core of Newton, with as I admit sections, particularly south of the current Riverside Line, built out in the era of the automobile. The other highway you mention came much later and barely is in Newton.

There have been books written about the topic. Go to your local library and check them out.

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that going back to the 1800s and saying well heres what they planned, so if you cant make that work today, its on you! is just stupid. and you know that, and i know you're not saying that the plans from back then would or in some cases, should, work today.

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That said, Swirly made a point that Newton was laid out to be lived in without a car. This was challenged. Since I have read a bit about the development of Boston's suburbs, I had to give her support, since what she said is true. Same with a lot of parts of Boston where space savers are an issue, meaning yes, people who live in streetcar suburbs do drive.

In short, Newton isn't Westwood or Framingham. It was not originally designed for the automobile. What goes on today is another issue, but the bare bones were not put in for cars.

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I had to give her support, since what she said is true.

Like you said above, technically it's true, but it's totally irrelevant. Since the plans had been made, the world has changed, and hence, plans change. That's the way the world works. The whole cow paths argument is bogus.

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Yes, the way we (and by we, I include my sorry mallrat ass) handle our physical environment has changed a lot since 1900, but Newton, Brookline (at least the parts near the Green Line) and other were designed without the car in mind, meaning theoretically automobile use is more optional.

I was out with a few people once. We were getting into a car on the way back and one of them said "I don't have a license." My first response was "how do you get your groceries?" This was in the 1990s, so no Peapod or whatnot then. Yet other than that, he was okay with never learning how to drive.

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But, designs aren't static. Designs change with time as the world changes. The city adjusts things as times change.

At first, people's houses congregated in certain areas where transportation was available. When the car arrived, houses could be built further away from these centers, i.e. sprawl. The world changed, and the city changed with it. Are you expecting the city not to change?

Another example is zoning. When a city/town gets zoned, zoning is a plan. But plans change, and zoning changes all the time.

Anyways, we were in Newton last night meeting a friend and drove by the scene. Man, that was awful.

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During the heavy development times in Newton?

The registration numbers for vehicles in the 1870s-1910s are pretty damn low.

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You're coming up with some arbitrary "development period" for Newton and claiming that there weren't any cars around then. What's your point?

My point is that for 90% of the population in Newton, unfortunately it's impractical if not impossible to live without a car. Not just for the work commute but for grocery shopping, getting the kids to schools and sports practice, etc.

I wish that the city's leaders (and the state's) would go about changing this and making the city less dependent on the automobile, and ensuring that it becomes truly practical and safe to live your life using public transport, walking, or cycling.

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So the city was designed for horses and buggy's, so what? It's not a "walkable" city, so today (where horses and buggy's aren't allowed), a car in quite necessary.

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I live in West Newton(in the Brae Burn district on the other side of the Turnpike) and don't own a car. I'm within walking distance of commuter rail, buses and the Green Line if need be. This terrible accident aside, it's a great neighborhood to be in.

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That restaurant is practically within sight of a commuter rail stop plus it is incredibly easy to tie into the Charles River bike paths from there to commute downtown. It's also walking distance to shops, restaurants, a movie theater etc. The supermarkets aren't right there but they're not too far up Washington St either.

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My statement was made from experience. But yes DEFINITELY cite our public transit as being reliable enough to justify ditching a car in Newton. You also better hope your job is right on the T even in the best of circumstances.

Almost nobody in Newton would tell you it's feasible to be carless. Sorry, that's just the truth for a huge majority of people there.

Also re: grocers- can't do it in that city with ease without a car unless you're single or don't cook. That is a massive issue and not to be taken lightly.

Hell I lived pretty close to the grocery store and would frequently walk there. But there are definitely times I regretted not driving, or, would end up just calling a cab to drop me off in the same driveway my functional car was in.

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It does not look to me like Chestnut St has an especially steep downslope leading to Washington Street, but can someone more familiar with the area say more?

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No real particular excuse I can think of. Keep in mind that Newton has a lot of older drivers and today might have drawn some infrequent drivers out of the woodwork

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Chestnut St. is actually on a very steep hill - West Newton Hill - certainly one of the steepest in the area. But it levels off some where it crosses the Turnpike - I think the bridge or the turnpike even is humped upwards, which would slow down a car coming down the hill.

If there was a brake failure, then I think a car would be in a lot of trouble coming down that hill, even with the bridge reducing its momentum.

But of course if it were someone texting......

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Just ate pizza there first time a couple months ago. Terrible traffic light and hazardous to cross street in crosswalk. That said have no clue what caused this crash. Very sad and random

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100 foot drop, 6˚ grade.

Highland, the next street over, is a 9˚ grade, which is what we rode bikes down recklessly in high school (because we were stupid). But if your brakes go out on a 6˚ downgrade, you can get some speed up.

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When is the last time brakes have actually failed on a modern car?

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whenever it was, it was in a liam neeson movie

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IF you mean "failure to apply brakes properly".

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If brakes failed or the driver lost conciousness the hill is steep enough to be a problem, but it's not as steep as the mission hill street that the brake-less fire truck flew down.

There are no witness reports of the driver honking the horn, which I would hope someone experiencing brake failure would do as they approached an intersection.

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Obviously take with a grain of salt, but on the Reddit thread someone said the hazards were on. It's just a weird sad mystery for now.

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It was a medical event and this person should not have been driving. Sad...

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I don't doubt you, I just can't find any news outlet reporting a cause.

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It's not the cars its the driving in Boston and MA in general. Having a European licence I had to redo my test here in Boston to be allowed to drive. The test is laughable, lasts 5 mins once around the block and reverse park. How can you justify that as a test?

Take new drivers out to different roads with varying speed limits. See how they change lanes safety, observe them at roundabouts , teach them road manners,have more hazard perception in the theory test , ban mobile phones and have the test last 60 mins and make new drivers meet a long list of criteria / maneuvers. Oh and get some street lights on roads here (Arbourway fpr example).

Having an easy test allows drivers to develop bad habits, if you failed your test 3 times at a cost of $200 you'd soon learn and obey the rules of the road.

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I agree that would make the roads a lot safer.

But if the state starts denying people licenses, they can no longer put their hands up and pretend that everyone is capable of getting to work/school/their lives via car every time they want to cut public transit or leave bike paths ridden with potholes or refuse to plow sidewalks.

Easy access to the ability to drive allows the government to shirk their responsibility to those who cannot/will not, and if they begin making that access more difficult, people will start demanding better transit alternatives. Which the state is loathe to do.

If you think the MA test is easy, try going out into flyover country where literally entire cities are built around the car and there may be a single busline at best. You can sleep through those and still get a license - it's all by design.

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You do realize that many people NEED a car. Walking or biking isn't feasible for many. Also, remember the T doesn't serve many in the state.

There seems to be a thought that everyone lives near a T stop, or every town is served by public transit.

Enough with this division.

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that people make. Such as living in a secluded manse 5+ miles from the closest grocery store and a solid hour-long drive from one's employer. (These are the same people who complain about traffic, fyi.)

Choices, choices, choices.

Personally, I make the choice to live on a T line and within a 5-minute walk of 3 major bus lines. I also make the choice to live within 2 miles of my employer.

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thats good, not everybody necessarily does. it also seems like you've been fortunate to not experience any catastrophic MBTA delays, or you're willing to add a considerable buffer time to your commute so you're not having attendance issues at work. or your employer just doesn't care or is understanding.

mentioning people that "live in a secluded manse" is a great way to grab some support from the plebes here that can't stand anybody with money but it isn't really an honest comparison. i would say that roughly 99% of people aren't the 1%ers you're describing.

we can't really have it both ways all the time. the MBTA isn't functional enough nor does it cover enough territory that it can replace the automobile. this argument you're making comes the same damned week they're scaling back service while talking about raising the price of admission, WHILE talking about trying to cancel future expansion. so the public transit angle you're working at- not the best.

i'm damned lucky to have all the opportunity afforded to me in life to where i can position myself, similarly to you, to where its easy for me to succeed with or without a car. but i'm not quite so far up my own ass yet that i think this is the norm. i'm not even a nice nor good person, i wouldnt want a guy like me dating my sister, but i can at least see that shit aint black and white.

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Well, you're lucky and you don't even know it!

You made a choice to live on T line within a 5 mile walk.

It's great YOUR not impaired. You have the use of both legs? You have good eyesight? You are able to move around without any assistance? Count your blessings.

I guess you don't have young children to get to care before or after work, either.

I also suppose you're never going to age, again your extremely lucky.

I remember sitting at my desk in Chelsea watching an elderly woman with about 5 bags of groceries trying to board a bus. When one of the bags broke and the groceries spilled out, the inpatient bus driver took off and left her there to pick up her groceries. I left my desk for a mandatory meeting with thoughts of that woman in my head and left the meeting as soon as I could to go down to the street to assist, but she was gone by then.

Yes, in your world that is totally acceptable because I guess at least she wasn't in a car! Or, she should've made the choice not to need groceries, or better yet get old. Thats it in your world, right?

I'm so glad for you, it's all good in your world and hey - it's every man and woman for herself, am I right?

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You mean you can't throw your 2-3 kids in the back of a bike in January and take them to the supermarket? All while towing a wagon for your groceries? What kind of person are you?

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people do that with the bike, and then people complain about THAT too ;-) or whine about BATTLE STROLLERS on the T, or love to mention how TERRIBLE parents are because they let a 5 year old sit 10 feet away from them with a juice box while they tended to their two year old.

shit man, people suck.

except me i have all the answers

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Both Peapod (Stop and Shop) and Roche Brothers deliver in Newton. As does Boston Organics, Walden Local Meat, Crescent Ridge Farms, and I'm sure there are others.

I've got two young kids, a spouse, and zero cars. Just the other day a Peapod delivery man carried $350 in groceries into the kitchen of our walkup home.

And, there's always Zipcar or Enterprise's car share service as well.

Folks who don't own any cars still use cars. They just use them as a service rather than pay the $100s/month in car payment, fuel, insurance, maintenance, etc.

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Sure, how are those overripe fruits and old meats you get from Peapod?

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So living in Newton affording home delivery of $350 groceries is just like everyone.

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about casually tossing $350 worth of delivered groceries like it is something everybody does and how that was silly but

it ended up being more vituperative than even some of my spicier posts here and i'm sure people are tired of reading my mindless drivel.

i think i also had something in there about how touting the virtues of renting cars- when i actively avoid vehicles i can identify as rentals or student drivers- was silly. people in unfamiliar cars that are infrequent drivers are not people i want to be near on the road.

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Last 4 cars I've seen stopping at the yield signs on x-way on ramps and almost getting nailed, or having trouble merging and switching lanes have been zip cars. Truly terrifying.

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I see people taking their kids on the buses all the time.

Of course, it would help if all those tax dollars that non car owners pay went toward, um, clearing out transit stops and clearing off sidewalks?

That's the problem here - no transit or poor transit access means people drive when they really shouldn't be driving.

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with no access, or poor access to transit, that they shouldn't be driving

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Tell me, if I live in a town with no public transit, how again am I supposed to take public transit?

Take a cab to the nearest T stop?

Non car owners pay taxes just like everyone else and car owners pay more!

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Oh please, we all pay taxes. Many of us don't use the services out tax dollars pay for.

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Everyone should pay taxes, but nobody should complain when huge expenditures seem to completely leave out their needs.

What a special little petunia you are.

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The needs of transit user's are completely left out? That's just incorrect.

What a special nasty little witch you are.

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Everyone should pay taxes, but nobody should complain when huge expenditures seem to completely leave out their needs.

What a special little petunia you are.

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Driving a car isn't a fundamental right. If your life requires you to drive a car and you're unable to drive safely you need to make changes to your life.

We don't know the cause of the crash but we do know two people needlessly died. There need to live trumps anyone's "need" to drive.

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yeah, it isn't a right granted legally, you are correct. you are also correct that if you can't drive safely then you shouldn't, the two people that died didn't deserve it, agreed, but yeah, we don't know what happened. so the entire tone of casting a sense of frivolity towards the person for ~*driving*~ is unnecessary.

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to me is why did the car veer left from the bottom of Chestnut Street? If it was indeed a brake failure, the driver would, or should, have sought to minimize damage by attempting to take a right onto Washington Street instead of running a stoplight and heading left into the wide intersection that encompasses Chestnut, Washington, Watertown & Waltham Streets.

The old Seth Davis hotel, where the pizza shop is, has stood there since the middle 1800s without being smashed into, at least not in my memory, which is long.

I drove a Veterans Cab there for years, if you lost your brakes at the top of Chestnut you'd be airborne at the road hump that goes over the pike and the railroad tracks.

Besides the obvious tragedy of it, there are a lot of things off about this accident.

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good company, good drivers. both the waltham and newton side, in my experience.

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2 people died. not only is most of this relentlessly off topic but very callous as well.

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and straying relentlessly off topic while being very callous

as well as being kept up to date on the gronk party cruise

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do you ever shut up?

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yes

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but randomly flaming every comment is bullying.

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IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/qJFr0qe.jpg)

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I attended Mrs. Miele's wake today. The length of the line I stood in to pay my respects speaks volumes about her character. She was the sister of a former colleague of mine. She left behind a husband, six siblings and an elderly mother. Can you imagine living well into your eighties and finding out, in the middle of the night, that your child was killed in such a way? Your spouse? She stopped in for a bite to eat before going to volunteer at her church. She never made it. So really, go on about your nonsense, that's way more important than her death, the death of a young man and all of those injured.

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90% of the above discussion took place before any victims had been identified. How would you expect commenters to care or even know about her if it wasn't known to even her poor mother yet that she's dead?

Furthermore, how do you expect to prevent the next poor elderly mother and loving throngs from having to hear that their friend and family died if no one discusses the causes of deaths like this one?

You think you are pious by standing up to the Internet discussion that's tangential to your friend's life because they somehow disgrace themselves in arguing over the suspicions and not bowing to your friend's legacy. I think you overestimate your worth.

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Any altruistic soul with a shred of empathy could imagine how horrible it would be to lose someone, or have one of their loved ones suffer such horrendous injury no matter who the victims were. While the victims were not named in this article, in other news sources, days after the accident, they surfaced, anyone could have done the research. At least two others were horrified by comments and expressed this. I didn't see you attack them.

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whether it was mechanical (brake failure) or medical (driver blacked out due to MS)?

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Very few comments had anything to do with any actual concerns about the cause of this accident. Just a lot of holier-than-thou asshats who need to assert their specialness any chance they get because they can afford to live a beautiful car-free life in Newton so there's no excuse for anyone else to foul the world with their infernal machines of destruction, and a bunch of tools who like to hear themselves type. Clowns. Two innocent people were killed instantly. And everyone knew that from the beginning. And it had nothing to do with GD bikes or your precious car-free lifestyle.

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