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Driver hits kindergartener crossing Centre Street at the library in West Roxbury

Scene of collision as boy is being treated on Centre

Scene as boy is being readied for transport by EMTs. Photo by Michelle Bylsma.

A little kid crossing Centre Street at Bellevue Street was hit by a car driver who apparently ran a red light there, around 3:25 p.m., according to witnesses - although the driver says he thinks he had a green light.

"There was a whole group of people in the middle of the street," one witness said in an account provided to Universal Hub. The driver "is lucky he didn't hit a crowd."

Other witnesses say the driver of the car was wearing a Boston Police uniform when he pulled over.

A police report on the incident says the boy's right leg was hit by the driver's blue Mazda 3 sedan.

The version of the police report that was released publicly has the driver's personal information redacted and does not say whether he was an officer.

The driver told responding officers he believed he had a green light on Centre Street towards Lagrange at the time, that the boy ran in front of him and that he slammed on his brakes in an unsuccessful attempt to not hit the boy.

However, the boy's aunt told police that they had a pedestrian crossing signal and were in the crosswalk when her nephew was hit.

According to the report, the boy's aunt said they were walking home from school - the school's name is redacted, but the Lyndon School is about a block away - when they got to the intersection of Centre and Bellevue. She told police the boy pressed the pedestrian button, the pedestrian-crossing lights came and and showed 9 seconds left when they began walking into the intersection - and the Mazda rolled into him.

The report states that when officers arrived, the aunt was holding "a crying little boy," who was complaining of pain in his lower right leg.

EMTs transported him to Children's Hospital for care.

No charges were filed.

Another witness also told police the boy was in the crosswalk, although she does not know if the pedestrian-crossing signal was on at the time. She added that after being struck by the right front of the car, the boy fell to the ground. Another witness estimated the car was going 5 to 15 m.p.h.

In 2019, after a pedestrian was struck and killed on Centre and Hastings streets, BTD proposed a series of steps to make the road safer for pedestrians, including reducing the number of auto travel lanes, but pulled the plan after some vociferous residents accused the city of being under the control of evil outside interests, such as bicyclists, out to ruin their neighborhood.

Since then, Centre Street has retained its same basic configuration.

PDF icon Police incident report215.23 KB


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This is barbaric. How many more human beings will we sacrifice to traffic violence on Centre St?

Voting closed 14

and throw in a home rule petition for red light cameras while we’re at it.

I bike all over the city and centre st manages to be one of the worst streets to bike, walk, and drive on! how many more people need to be hit or killed for the city to fix these awful streets?

Voting closed 171

I work on Centre Street between Park and Hastings. Since 2019 there have been two deaths just on that block alone. People drive too fast down the street, don’t stop for pedestrians and (uncontrollably) the sun is glaring on drivers during rush hour. You would think this would slow drivers down but it seems to make them try and drive faster through the glare. It’s such a dangerous street. It’s not good for the pedestrians, the businesses and for the folks that accidentally hit folks because everyone loses when someone gets hit. As much as the traffic would absolutely suck- this street needs to change to a one lane.

Voting closed 43

It wouldn't suck for pedestrians, bikers and drivers. Drivers just have to get used to not being the favorite anymore. There is plenty of research that shows rode diets work for everyone; including businesses.

Centre street is a main street area and there are 6 lanes of cars...it doesn't make sense.

Voting closed 13

Half of the delays on Centre St. are caused by cars waiting to turn left. The road diet fixes that by creating turn lanes, so that through traffic doesn't have to maneuver around the waiting turners. That one thing will be a huge improvement that likely mitigates most of the issues created by more cars per lane.

Voting closed 21

If a driver doesn't care about an actual crowd of people in front of their car, why would they care about getting a ticket in the mail a month later?

Voting closed 2

More than one study by researchers not associated with Top Gear have found that red-light cameras increase the number of accidents where they're installed.


The cameras do on the other hand generate lots of revenue, at least for the companies that install them.

The argument for automated enforcement is a lot better on places like the Pike, where conditions aren't changing and you don't want people doing a buck ten ever. Though personally, I am far less bothered by the guy doing 100 in the passing lane in broad daylight in light traffic, than I am by the nutcases blasting back and forth across three lanes like they're playing GTA. But busting that requires a lot more work than sitting in a cruiser waiting for the radar gun to beep at you.

Voting closed 6

Cinderblocks are pretty cheap and could be deployed strategically.

Or perhaps some of those hedgehogs that they use in Ukraine...

Voting closed 10

I saw a wheelchair bound man almost get hit by a car at Lechmere today.

The drivers have gotten worse since Covid19 from my informal observation.

Voting closed 102

It was an off-duty cop speeding to run a red light who hit the kid.


Not just the street that’s dangerous, it’s the police too.

Voting closed 139

I cross Center Street right by the police station and I feel I take my life in my hands each and every time. How many more people need to be hit ?

Voting closed 62

In whose hands is your life the rest of the time?

Voting closed 8

Can we get a quote from them on this "unavoidable" incident?

Voting closed 39

So he didn't do anything to address this issue while he was head of E5--just let us roll the dice every time we crossed Centre . But Greely's now a consultant who advises on training cops how to keep us safe, so maybe we can hire him to do the job he ignored while making $300K a year on taxpayers' dime. https://greeleyassociates.com/pages/consulting-services

Voting closed 29

I'm sure the West Roxbury Safety Association is on the case!

Voting closed 28

The local police covered for whoever hit that toddler across the street from CVS last summer, they don't give a single shit about road safety.

Voting closed 52

Car/motorcycle crashes or being struck by vehicles is one of the largest causes of death or injury for cops every year. You'd think that they'd be some of the largest advocates for better infrastructure to slow folks down and save their own lives.

Voting closed 31

Serious question

Voting closed 18

I feel bad for the kid, but the reality is children shouldn't be crossing streets. Children are too small, and cars (my god my god i love cars) are big and strong and have been on the streets forever. i feel like a few sacrifices a week are worth it. it's against the law to enforce drivers to drive responsibly or seek professional help for whatever impulse control issue they might have. and don't even get me started on bikes! every time I see a bike on the road my mind goes blank.

Voting closed 41

If not in traffic like dad tells them to?

Voting closed 22

Use your snark tags! /s

Voting closed 3

As a West Roxbury resident who is tired of people being needlessly run over on Centre Street and tired of fearing for my life every day when I cross that street, I just called my city councilor to voice my support for the road diet plan that was proposed a few years ago. I encourage others to do the same.

Voting closed 67

I think the pizza place has cameras.

Voting closed 5