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Pedestrian seriously injured when pickup driver slams into granite pillar at edge of Public Garden

Smashed up truck at the Public Garden

Update: Suspect arrested.; friends set up GoFundMe page for victim.

The driver of a pickup truck slammed into a granite pillar along the edge of the Public Garden at Boylston and Charles streets around 4:30 p.m., seriously injuring somebody who was walking there at the time and doing major damage to the truck and the pillar.

Ann Tousignant reports the pedestrian was taken to the hospital following the crash, which sent the heavy ball atop the pillar flying and rolling across the pathway there - and which resulted in a pool of blood near the park entrance:

Truck smashed up
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Looks like full notes

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WBZ/ 4 reporting "life-threatening" injuries for the struck woman

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Look at that damage, no way that happens without excessive speed and aggressive behavior like you see every day around town. There's 4 lanes there and this goon still managed to drive off the road. I hope the pedestrian makes a speedy recovery as yet another innocent bystander taken out by someone in a hurry nowhere.

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I'm not a big fan of most traffic enforcement, but I would LOVE to see enforcement against aggressive driving.

Putting up "Safety Zone 20 mph" signs does nothing to address this.

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Comment deleted upon the update to the story regarding the car being stolen.

Criminals are going to commit crime, license or not.

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the vehicle was reported stolen. People said it was speeding along Boylston Street just prior to the accident.
This was an act perpetrated by a criminal. License revocation isn't what's needed in this case.

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This guy committed several crimes--stealing a car, speeding, and hitting and inflicting life-threatening injuries on a pedestrian, and leaving the scene of an accident.

A license revocation for this guy, plus a long-term jail sentence is needed. This guy needs to be taken off the street before he seriously injures or kills somebody else. Here's hoping that the woman survives and has a full, speedy recovery from her injuries.

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He's clearly a danger to other drivers, as well as pedestrians.

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Just yesterday, I attended a talk about how more people driving SUVs and trucks rather than cars, which keep getting bigger in size, are a large part of why pedestrian injuries and fatalities have been going up over the past 10 years.

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So according to you, I can’t own a SUV ? Because you Think. Who are you ?

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You’re more likely to survive being hit by a normal sized car with a lower bumper that might toss you onto the hood rather than under the wheels. Plus the height of these monster vehicles are sight hazards, parked or moving in traffic.

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Basically, auto makers are killing pedestrians so their trucks can look more cool and manly.

https://theweek.com/articles/929196/case-against-american-truck-bloat

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the people who buy large trucks or SUVs because "they're safer", which is mostly because they do better in a collision with other large trucks or SUVs. It's an arms race where the loser is everyone else on the road.

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Also, don't forget those that buy larger vehicles because they need them, either because of their profession, their activities, or because they tow something that requires a larger vehicle.

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Some people need a pick-up for work.

The problem is that the market for new pick-ups is increasingly dominated by trucks with these massive, squared-off front ends that a) leave the driver unable to see what is right in front of the truck, and b) make it far more likely a pedestrian crash victim goes under the wheels rather than over the hood.

This is entirely about aesthetics and marketing taking priority over pedestrian safety.

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a) you're wrong. You can see as well as any other vehicle. Yes, if a 2-year-old were right in front of the pickup, you wouldn't see it. That's true for a vast majority of cars out there. Besides, see b).

b) They're trucks, they're not Honda Civics. They have a purpose are designed as such. It is entirely about building a vehicle for that purpose, whether it be payload, towing, construction, etc.

Yes, there is a large number of people who buy pickups because, well, they want a pickup and it gets used just like a passenger car. Oh well. And yes, the marketing boys and girls certainly have their hand in there, as with any other product.

Let me tell you where I'm coming from.

We bought a used F-250 in '16 to tow a trailer. I never in my life envisioned buying a truck like that and seriously winced at the idea. But, we needed it for what we wanted to do. It is absolutely the worst driving vehicle possible with its stiff suspension and load rated tires at 70+ psi. Awful. But, when towing a 8500 lbs GVW trailer up, and more importantly, down mountain passes, it's absolutely wonderful to have full confidence that things will go just fine. To the people here who rarely venture beyond the confines of the T, I'm sure the concept of a 3/4 ton pickup and a trailer is a foreign concept. Well, it's a big world out there, take a look sometime.

As I said elsewhere, all you need is gas at $4+/gallon and things would change - again.

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The shift to more and larger pickup trucks is not because people are suddenly opening more businesses and need to carry more stuff. For many, it's a status symbol.

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Didn't think so.

This guy didn't crash into the wall and the pedestrian because the truck was too big and he didn't see them. No, he crashed into them because he's an idiot. The problem here is not the size of the truck, it's the driver. Look at the real problem here rather than just making stuff up.

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(insert eye roll)

From SC's article:

"Trucks and SUVs do not make up 70 percent of automobile sales nowadays because Americans are now 70 percent contractors and HVAC repairmen. Nor has the average pickup gained 730 pounds since 2000 because 100 million people have taken up cattle ranching."

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How many construction sites have 2-3 crystal white massive pickups parked in the temporary no parking zone that clearly have never been outside in the rain, much less actually towed something or carried something.

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People buy SUVs because they *think* they're safer. Even though they're not.

They've gotten a little better over the years, but early SUVs were horribly dangerous, due to rollover hazard and lack of crash safety features which were only mandated for cars.

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accidents, in general have been on the increase, because people, in general, regardless of the kind(s) of cars that they own, are driving much, much faster, and more erratically than usual. Driving here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and in the United States, as a whole, always has been rather aggressive, but it has gotten even worse since 9/11.

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Law should be 1 year in prison for every mph above the speed limit.

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Instead of punitive measures, why not simply mandate speed limiters in every new car, like they're doing in the EU? Why not create incentives for manufacturers and consumers to make and buy smaller, less deadly passenger cars?

We already have laws against smashing into shit with your car. It's not enough.

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My nav system and google maps will let you know the speed limits. I just tap my screen.

No reason these can't be automatically linked to car speed if the systems can tell you that you are indeed speeding.

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The technology already exists. Somebody just has to put the pieces together.

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The work has been done. What's lacking is the political will to save lives.

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The speedometer on my first car went up to 85mph. The speedometer on my current car goes up to 150. That makes no sense. It's the same model car.

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car's speedometer goes to 165, though I doubt I could push its engine past 120 mph even under ideal conditions. I have never tried, haven't gotten a speeding ticket in decades, and it would be comical to take that square-looking old sedan on a track. It's still the fastest, fanciest vehicle I've ever owned, meaning it has a V6, is less than 15 years old, and has paint on all four sides *and* the roof. [Edit: according to the manufacturer, its top speed is 155. Maaaaybe it it were new and had the right tires. Still seems unlikely.]

I have always prized modest reliability and decent gas mileage in a commuter vehicle, would rather spend my money on good food and drink. I jocularly referred to my shitty but serviceable cars as "gold-digger filters": any woman that would go out with me again after being picked up for the first date in one could not think I was at all prosperous. That line made the Car Talk guys laugh when I got on the show, looking for a diagnosis of a heater problem with my boxy tank of a Volvo with 250K miles on it, and they replayed it when I got invited back for "Stump the Chumps." (Forgive me if this aside is in dubious taste, given the tragic news item. )

I'll speculate that speedometer range is chosen so that typical maximum legal highway speeds (55-85) are at around 12 o'clock on the dial and thus easy to see when you have the least amount of time to take your eyes off the road. Might simply be a function of purposeful, safety-minded design.

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Except for the gas shortage period, when the 85 mph speedometers were mandated, the things have always had enormously inflated top speeds on them. I always thought it was a marketing ploy. "Wow! This one will go 140! Let's buy it!"

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"This amp goes up to 11." - Spinal Tap

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I've heard that "12 o'clock" reason too. It made sense at first, but the more I thought about it, the less I buy it. If anything, the gratuitous verniers in 120+mph speedometers compresses the scale, meaning you can't use your peripheral vision to read the gauge and tell whether you are driving 71 vs 74 mph, because the numbers are so squished together. You have to take your eyes off the road and focus on the dial instead.

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Remember when gas hit ~$4/gallon? Small cars and hybrids were all the rage and cleaned off the lots. SUVs and trucks languished on the lots. Then, gas went back down and companies stopped making small cars because they can't sell them.

We do a lot of driving, but I'm still a proponent of heavy gas taxes to finance mass transportation and get people to buy smaller cars.

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to believe in his utopian vision of electric cars becoming ubiquitous and maybe helping the emissions problem, though I still have questions.

I too would prefer better public transport alternatives. I'm not a cyclist, but support more bike-friendly cities.

At the moment, I'm hoping that covid-like pandemics don't become the new normal, and thus the kind of dense city living that I have always preferred, amenities and warts and all, doesn't become obsolete.

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California has mandated that all cars sold there in 2035 be zero-emission. Trucks have until 2045. Like coal before it, the fossil fuel is going away.

Probably too late.

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We already have laws against reckless driving and excessive speed. We don’t have speed limiters because we live in a free country (ostensibly), and many of US reject your nanny state suggestions. When you receive a driver’s license you’re presumed competent to operate according to your licensure until you demonstrate otherwise.

I have 3 million accident-free miles operating my own Class 8 tractor trailer. It’ll be a cold day when I accept your speed limiter on any of my vehicles.

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How well does speed limiting work in the EU?

We've all seen GPSes do stupid things. I really wouldn't want cars randomly slamming on the brakes to 25 mph on the highway because the GPS thinks it's on a parallel local street.

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I mean the temporary protected bike lanes certainly aren't stopping anything since they were removed and haven't been replaced yet.

But isn't that typical car enthusiast response to protected bike infra? iT'lL sLoW dOWn TrAfFic!

Honestly why the hell do we have have multiple lanes of traffic that are treated like a drag strip surrounding this jewel of public space?

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Pedestrian signals take forever. Car traffic rarely fills one lane, or maybe two. The whole area was not built for motor vehicles to begin with yet their use dominates all planning and infrastructure. There is little reason for any of the car focus in this area. It doesn't even make sense in terms of the traffic density and intersections at the edges that impede speed.

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There’s a difference between roads designed properly so people naturally drive slower, and endless red lights or other jam-inducing misfeatures which often come along with badly implemented bike projects. The latter waste a lot more time, create new backups that are unpleasant for pedestrians and the neighborhood as well as drivers, and don’t increase safety.

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By the Public Garden is that way because there used to be an incline by the Public Garden for the streetcars to transition to the Tremont St Subway. (It's still there but covered up.)

Several major traffic arteries converge at the Common or Public Garden -- Tremont, Beacon, Boylston, Commonwealth, Charles, Arlington. Storrow Drive dumps out a bunch of traffic at Beacon & Arlington, and Arlington lets drivers access the Pike westbound. Plus you're going to have large streets at or near the edges of the parks because they're big chunks of area which cannot be traversed by motor vehicles.

That said, Boylston by the Public Garden and Charles between the Common and Garden can use a road diet. Beacon by the Public Garden is a mess with all the weaving traffic. Tremont is about right if the rightmost lane is converted to bus/bike only.

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I think it's more because parkland was an easy grab to widen the roads.

There's no intentional traffic planning here. For example, back at Boylston and Arlington, there's zero signage indicating which side of the Boylston median goes where. You just have to know from experience that the left side forces you onto Charles northbound, and the right side forces you to continue straight on Boylston towards Tremont.

Heck, there isn't even a sign showing that it's all one way eastbound and you can drive on the left side of what looks like the median of a two-way street.

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Absolutely. All of these streets used to be two-way when they were originally built as well, which also helps to keep traffic traveling at safer speeds.

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That very key part of the story seems lost in this discussion.

That said, it's insane to go from a walk along the park on a beautiful day, to being hit and killed. Very sorry for the victims family and for anyone nearby who had to witness it. I hope they catch the their/killer very soon.

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And the dumpster fire known as 2020 continues. Wishing a speedy and full recovery to the pedestrian.

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What about the pedestrian killed by the dump truck that left the scene in Andrew Sq?

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