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Downtown pedestrian critically injured when hit by vehicle this morning

Crash scene

Crash scene. Photo by Adam Balsam.

The Globe reports somebody was taken to Massachusetts General in bad shape after being hit by a vehicle at Merchants Row and State Street around 9 a.m. Because of the severity of the person's injuries, the homicide and fatal-crash reconstruction units were called in.

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Odd that the news story doesn't even mention whether the driver stopped. Are we meant to assume that, since this is Boston, he didn't?

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Note the two trucks on the right side of the photo (apologies if you saw the post before I posted the current photo).

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OP, but that’s the typical rhetoric around here.

I don’t believe those trucks were involved. If you zoom in the truck closest the State has its lift on the ground.

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It was the Costa Produce truck at the end of Merchants Road.
I didn't see it happening but I was passing by when she was already bleeding on the pavement! The flesh on her leg was wide open. So Sad!
My Prayers for her!

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There was a photo circulating from yesterday of the Costa truck being towed from the scene by the BPD. Also heard from witnesses that it was a produce truck, as that back alley is used for deliveries.

Very, very sad that this person passed away from their injuries. A pedestrian can be distracted by a cell phone, rushing to get to work on time, a truck driver can have an obstructed view, misjudges a turn like that onto a narrow side street, etc, etc ... sometimes there is nothing to blame except a simple case of bad timing.

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The area is full of pedestrians.

"couldn't see" means DONT MOVE YOUR VEHICLE. You don't get a pass on that. You are still responsible for where and how you drive. If you can't hack it then STOP DRIVING.

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Wasn't trying to driversplain? But okay. And *of course* the area is full of pedestrians. I'm one of them, every single day. This spot is also the only access to the back alley where all the restaurants and businesses in Fanueil Hall get their deliveries, have their trash pickup, etc. It's full of trucks every single day, too.

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A pedestrian can be distracted by a cell phone, rushing to get to work on time, a truck driver can have an obstructed view, misjudges a turn like that onto a narrow side street, etc, etc ... sometimes there is nothing to blame except a simple case of bad timing.

If you can't safely operate your vehicle, don't operate your vehicle.

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A truck swings wider (than a car) to make a turn. At that exact moment, a person rushing to work steps off the curb into their path. Or a person distracted by their cell phone walks right into the designated blind spot of a truck backing up. Terrible timing sometimes results in terrible accidents. I've worked on State St for 20 years and have seen dozens of near misses. My intention was not to distract you from placing blame.

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I see people driving like complete a**holes, and I see people walking with seemingly zero awareness of their surroundings. But unless I saw this accident with my own eyes, the exact second it happened, I'm staying out of the blame game, thanks.

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So maybe that truck should not be there, on that road, trying to make that turn at a time when there are thousands of people on foot in the city trying to get to work?

Sounds like we need some limits on what trucks are allowed to operate there, and at what hours. There is no reason that I can see that these deliveries are being made at hours where it is dangerous for vehicles that cannot be operated safely to be on the roads. Make them deliver before 7am or wait until later.

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What? Hahaha... vehicles should be limited to when they can use a ROAD, because pedestrians might use it as a cut-through street to shorten their walk to work? Anyone in the area knows it is a delivery zone. It leads directly to an alley, not to a public way.

And how do you expect the businesses to survive? Restaurants especially need daily deliveries.

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It's a very short road leading only to a back alley where deliveries are made--it's not a public way. People walking there are mainly using as a cut-through access, between the buildings in Fanueil Hall.

So, you're suggesting an area designated as a delivery zone should be limited because people might want to use it as a shortcut? And what about ALL the businesses relying on daily deliveries? Completely unfeasible to think you could limit it to times you deem appropriate. Quite simply doesn't work that way.

Besides, pedestrians are trying to get somewhere all day long. There are no more people out walking at 9am than there are at 12 noon or 3pm or 7pm etc. (In fact, I see notably less people in this neighborhood on my walk to work in the morning than I do out at lunch, or when I leave for the day.) Not everybody in Boston works 9 to 5 and not everybody is in the city to work.

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I saw the trucks, but there was no indication whether they were involved in the incident or whether they just happened to be parked there.

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I saw the trucks, but there was no indication whether they were involved in the incident or whether they just happened to be parked there.

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about 25mph there, or is it less?

cars are finished. get them out of boston except for emergency vehicles.

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...likely a factor.

Hoping the victim survives.

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How did you reach that conclusion?

All we can gather from the article is that someone was hit. Guessing about the cause of the crash and who's at fault with zero info is as useful as hearing about a shooting and assuming it's gang violence. Even if you turn out to be correct you didn't reach that conclusion any more correctly than someone who guesses the car was full of bees. All the guess does is add to other people's confirmation bias

Sorry to make a rant out of it but this happens in every article about traffic accidents on here. Without any more info than anyone else people start posting about how it must be the pedestrian's/driver's/cyclist's fault due to whatever reason they feel like

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Another factor? Allowing motor vehicles in an area with thousands of pedestrians. Expand the pedestrian only zone and actually keep vehicles out with more than just a little sign.

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State Street is likely to be designated a carfree zone after all the bureaucratic procedures are completed.
This crash may speed up the process.

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Right now at Government Center, State Street feeds into westbound Cambridge Street, while eastbound Cambridge Street feeds into Tremont Street.

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Making Tremont Street two way should happen regardless. Downtown Boston has far too many streets that are unnecessarily one-way, multi-lane stroads.

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Washington Street through Downtown Crossing is ostensibly "car-free" and yet it's unsafe to walk down the middle of the street due to the constant stream of cabs, delivery vehicles, and police cars. A "car-free" State Street would just be a speedway for cabs.

State St. is also a fairly important connector from 93/Surface Artery to Government Center. Closing it will simply divert traffic to other streets with heavy pedestrian traffic, principally North & Clinton Streets around Faneuil Hall.

Moreover, from looking at the photo, it appears that the pedestrian was hit as the vehicle was turning from State onto Merchants Row which is a one-block street toward Faneuil Hall Marketplace (it continues as a pedestrian-only zone). There isn't much traffic through there apart from delivery vehicles, and it's likely that a "car-free" State Street wouldn't have prevented this accident.

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But drivers will scream at you if you use them. I was halfway across and some asshole bitchmobile nearly hit me cutting around another car, then yelled at me because "you shouldn't step in front of a car".

My friend smashed her hood with the butt end of an umbrella.

Time to ban cars from the area. Buses only, placard and plate handicap exempted.

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Would that ban also prohibit delivery trucks? There are a lot of businesses in that area.

It's good you made an exception for handicapped drivers, but what about elderly people or the taxi/uber drivers that drive them?

Finally where do you reroute all the traffic to? And how will those roads be made safe with more cars trying to get down them?

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But what about the elderly is such a tired trope. Observe the signalized crosswalks in downtown and you'll see many elderly people struggling to get across before the timer ends or haltingly crossing the street when drivers fail to yield at unsignalized crosswalks. Many elderly people live in or adjacent to downtown. We should plan for them.

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It's comparing apples to apples. Im saying that there are plenty of people who face the same mobility issues who don't have handicapped placards, the elderly being the largest and most obvious group. We can't tell them "just be like that other old guy I saw and walk".

But if you want another group to use as an example how about the fully abled people who have businesses in these areas and need to take deliveries. Inventory is difficult enough without having to also drag a pallet or two of goods several blocks from the truck.

We definitely should plan for and around pedestrians to make walking safer, but there are ways to do that without blocking access for a whole range of people. Longer walk signals, speed bumps, traffic/ticketing cameras, more police, redesigned lanes and lights, etc. but those cost lots and lots of money, time, and closed roads that the cities and state don't have patience for. I think there are solutions but for the local leaders it's a matter of priorities.

This idea of car-less zones comes up all the time now, but as green and utopian as it sounds it also screws over a ton of people who have little or no alternatives, and when you bring up their needs people say they're tired of hearing about it. Im tired of hearing they're tired. Let's find a solution that works for everyone

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People lived here before cars. People had mobility issues before cars as well. Somehow they lived their lives and got places without motor vehicles. I hope you are being dishonest because it is very crazy to believe that elderly people with mobility issues cannot exist without a car.

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People had mobility issues before cars as well. Somehow they lived their lives and got places without motor vehicles.

Yeah except that they often didn't, because they either died or were confined to their house (or even their bed) for the rest of their lives. It's only relatively recent advances in medicine and technology that have enabled people with mobility issues to have the freedom of movement that they do today, and for better or for worse some of that is tied to cars.

I hate the whole "People lived for thousands of years without X, so we don't need it today" argument, no matter what subject it's brought up about, because usually if you do your homework you'll find that many people DIDN'T live without X. You could call it a case of survivorship bias.

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Life expectancy has been dropping in the US. The biggest killer is drug overdoses. and yes that is not car related but it is good example of how modern advancements in medicine don't equal longer life.

People live in this dystopian perception that walking 2 miles is an unusual hardship. If a person lives their lives without the physical exercise that human body was designed for, they will become mobility impaired. That is not blame, it is observable science.

Many characteristics that we used to attribute to aging - weight gain, brittle bones, forgetfulness, loss of muscle strength, etc. - are actually brought about by inactivity.

http://med.stanford.edu/healthyagingclass/lesson3.html

It is false to say that people without cars and modern mobility help(scooters, stair lifts, elevators) were more likely to be bedridden or confined to their home.

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They should get a placard because THEY ARE HANDICAPPED.

They can have it out when the uber/taxi picks them up. Simple.

Otherwise, go fish.

So tired of the WHAT ABOUT OLD PEOPLE. Oh please. They can be handicapped, too - they just need to swallow their pride and make their doctor fill out the damn paperwork. Sheesh.

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People often need access to handicap services without qualifying for those plates. For example both my parents and aunt who have knee And hip surgeries coming up but are currently unable to walk more than a block.

But putting that aside what's aggravating about this topic is how dismissive you are of people's inability to get around the city while demanding it be easier for you to get around your specific corner of it. Sure it would be nice if we could all just walk through a park to get to work but we can't. We live in a city. Either figure out a way to see past your red foam clown nose and live around others or go fish

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Bullshit. People can get temporary or permanent placards or walk.

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Older adults with mobility issues are a subset of older adults.

You can get a placard if you have mobility issues.

You make it sound like old people can't move much, which any charity athletic event will show you otherwise.

Not sure if you are clueless about these things or just completely entitled and terrified of having to get off of your dead ass and move before you become disabled by your inactivity.

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No need to yell about elderly people with mobility challenges in ALL CAPS. Sheesh!

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Nobody can drive very fast in that area. It's always congested.

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Nobody can drive very fast in that area.

How are you enjoying your first day in Boston?

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... State Street. Always in a hurry to get to the red light.

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It seems poignant to bring this survey from the city to everyone's attention at this time.

They want to know what people would like to see happen with State Street:

"What is your vision for State Street? As we begin to think about a new vision for State Street we would like feedback on how State Street is used today and what people would like to see in the future."

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HV6NJB9

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The City really must not be publicizing this! I work on State St and am pretty heavily involved in transportation planning and even I hadn't seen anything about this!

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We've tried not pulling over drivers for traffic infractions, we've tried letting killer drivers off with a slap on the wrist or less, we've tried not putting nearly enough pedestrian infrastructure in place...I don't know what more a city can fail to do to keep its citizens safe

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... and we're all out of ideas.

IMAGE(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/1a/ca/f4/1acaf43b61bd4b72b0956e0ce9fd12fc.png)

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My company just sent out an email to all employees stating that the woman who was hit has passed away.

And of course the email included reminders to only cross at crosswalks, wear bright clothing, and never text while walking. #VictimBlaming

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Common sense advice like using crosswalks, wear bright clothing, and don't text while walking is now considered victim blaming?

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So I can't ask "are you new here?" Come on, you've seen it explained here plenty of times.

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2019/01/14/six-ways-the-media-is-still-blami...

Also a lot of good bright clothing and paying attention does, this crossing guard was run over in while wearing reflective clothing:

https://youtu.be/NoUoeioW6c4?t=51

Its all about absolving a systemic issue with road violence and passing the blame onto the most vulnerable rather than those with the most responsibility.

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As they say, anecdotes don't equal data.

Sounds like there are bad drivers. But that doesn't mean there aren't bad pedestrians. Or that pedestrians shouldn't try to act more safely. It's case by case, and everyone can be smart and do better.

. Also a lot of good bright clothing and paying attention does, this crossing guard was run over in while wearing reflective clothing

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I mean if you were trying to hide behind words to victim blame, you really missed the mark.

Please tell me that VaDOTs data about 129% increase in elderly road fatalities is the result of "Bad pedestrians." Did they just suddenly up and decide that this was the to stop walking safely? Get real.

https://twitter.com/VaDOT/status/1192638127707430913

Ok how about more data, cyclists and pedestrian deaths are at their highest levels since 1990. Its safer for people inside of the cars of course but larger cars, crap infrastructure and a prevalence of distracted driving is whats killing people.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/22/us/pedestrian-cyclist-deaths-traffic....

Most of the news about traffic safety has been good in recent decades, as vehicle manufacturers have added safety features, drunken driving deaths have fallen and seatbelt use has climbed to nearly 90 percent. But in recent years, pedestrian and cyclist deaths have been a disturbing outlier.

The number of pedestrians killed grew by 3.4 percent last year, to 6,283, and the number of cyclists killed rose by 6.3 percent, to 857, even as total traffic deaths decreased. On average, about 17 pedestrians and two cyclists were killed each day in crashes. Together they accounted for one-fifth of traffic deaths.

EDIT: Ok more data:

The U.S. FARS (Fatality Analysis Reporting System) shows “distracted walking” is a factor in 0.1% of pedestrian fatalities. Zero. Point. One. I think you might be focusing on the wrong problem.

https://twitter.com/martynschmoll/status/1194766112614838272

Next.

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I rather been seen and alive than place the onus on those in cars and distracted drivers who can kill me if they do not see me.

But, hey, encourage folks to say "screw 'em" and go ahead and wear black at night (cause you should be able to wear what you like, anyway) while walking and/or cycling, and ditch the lights because drivers need to take responsibility and keep on texting while walking as you cross the street, because gosh darn, those drivers just need to take responsibility.

As the MIT police always say when a crime occurs:

"While victims of crimes are never to blame for criminal activity, there are some precautions that can be taken. In order to protect yourself (insert whatever crime here), the MIT Police encourage you to follow these tips:"

This is not victim blaming. It is offering precautions in the form of suggestions to those who do walk and or cycle in this city which has the highest congestion of traffic during rush hour and make it out alive.

Good luck.

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If it weren't victim blaming, the email would also have said, "put down your phone while driving, obey the speed limit, and don't run lights/stop signs."

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Obviously I didn't imply or advocate for people to wear black at night or walk aimlessly into the streets, ditch lights or text at all times. Thats a very dishonest point to make but lets be honest, you're not here to be honest.

Oh you missed an easy one about making eye contact with the driver, thats a common car apologist response.

I rather been seen and alive than place the onus on those in cars and distracted drivers who can kill me if they do not see me.

But thats what happened in the video I showed you (you didn't watch it did you?) the crossing guard took the onus to be seen by wearing reflective clothing and still was run over by a distracted driver. So I see you're doubling down on the victim blaming.

Hey just for fun, would love to hear your thoughts on why VDOT posted about a 129% increase in elderly pedestrian fatalities and asked people to "talk to your seniors about safe walking." What did senior citizens suddenly get more brazen or susceptible to wearing goth-like clothing that no one can see? Oh maybe they are darting out in the road, thats always a good one. Oh I know, it has to be those damn cell phones, they are always glued to them and never paying attention.

https://twitter.com/VaDOT/status/1192638127707430913

Or maybes it reckless driving, zero traffic enforcement and poor infrastructure? Nah, that makes too much sense.

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Pedestrians/bikers should 100% take precautions but even when we do we are still in danger because cars are king. Why is the onus on everyone but drivers?

They have been doing construction at Stanhope/Clarendon since the summer. The cops that were there to help pedestrians/traffic were too busy on their phones or speaking to the construction crew to actually pay attention to pedestrians.

What that meant was having to walk around massive trucks parked in the crosswalk into 2 lanes of traffic to try and cross the street. This meant taking your life into your hands on a daily basis. This is a major pedestrian crossing. I sent 311 numerous complaints and pictures.

2 weeks ago myself and a few other pedestrians were almost hit (again, a daily occurrence) b/c we had to edge out around the trucks into the crosswalk. It didn't help that by the fall the crosswalk was almost gone b/c of the work: the city certainly didn't fix it or put something there to remind drivers that it was a crosswalk. I sent 311 another pic after that incident and said "When someone gets hit I will give them all my 311 reports so they can hopefully sue the city.' Miraculously since that last report they have repainted the crosswalk and I haven't seen a truck park in it since.

Last night...same crosswalk; one car stops and the guy in the next lane speeds by and almost hits me. Luckily I am young(ish..lol) and jumped back. If it was an older person, a person with mobility issues, etc. they would have gotten hit.

This is only one crosswalk in the city and we all know this happens everywhere in Boston. So again, the onus is always on pedestrians and never on drivers.

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But you are miss perfect special girl so it couldn't possibly have been your fault. Nope.

But other people don't have your perfect exceptionalism and it is their fault that they get in the way of poor drivers trying to answer texts while speeding and ignoring crosswalks, amirite?

Because mommy said you were special and gave you a pony.

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Who are you responding to Swirly?

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  • Slow down.
  • Watch for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Make sure your headlights are on.
  • Put away your phone when you're driving.
  • Keep your eyes on the road.
  • Try using a different form of transportation rather than a personal car, especially if you aren't willing to do the above.

For some reason the "common sense advice" only seems to be targeted at those getting hurt, rather than those doing the hurting...

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I've never heard of a company sending out notices about a biking death

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I presume it was to reassure us that it wasn't one of our employees.

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From my reliable source, the woman is recovering from surgery at MGH.

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Then either your reliable source or my company must be wrong. I'm just passing along what was in the memo I received.

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Full stop

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I wear neon gloves when biking around here.

It's so the drivers can see me flip them off for cutting me off or parking in the bike lanes.

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I had lunch with this woman on Monday. She is truly a force of nature and a tireless advocate for improving quality of life in the city. She is still fighting for her life and I hope she recovers. I find it sad that only a couple commenters have said anything about wanting the victim to be ok. Yes, the city's roads need change, but a little decency in times of tragedy goes a long way.

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Wanting her to be okay is the default. There's no need to discuss it just so we can all agree with it.

Not mentioning it doesn't indicate callousness. It indicates brevity and focus.

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I am so happy to hear that she is alive. Sending healing thoughts her way.

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Ryan, do you know if she's okay? I did hear that she passed ... I'm hoping that is not the case. I saw the accident immediately after it had happened. It was so tragic and been thinking about her (and the driver) ever since!

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