‘Always a smile’: Nurse mourned after fatal crash
HANSON — Amanda Turner Russell, 32, of Hanover was getting in a training run for the Boston Marathon when she was hit by a car on Winter Street just over the town line in Hanson on Wednesday, Dec. 23.
She died from traumatic injuries to her head and neck on Monday, Dec. 28, according to family spokesman Brian Dever of the Taunton-based Keches Law Group.
Russell was a labor and delivery nurse at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. She leaves an 8-year-old son.
At about noon on Dec. 23, Hanson Police received numerous 911 calls reporting a motor vehicle crash with a person ejected from the vehicle in the area of 854 Winter St., according to Chief Michael Miksch.
“Hanson Police officers working a paid detail in the area arrived to find a motor vehicle had struck a pedestrian and a utility pole,” Miksch stated.
Hanson Fire and Hanover Fire also responded to the scene.
The pedestrian, later identified as Russell, was transported to Brockton Hospital for treatment. She was flown by Med Flight to Boston for further treatment. The operator of the vehicle, a female Hanson resident, was transported to South Shore Hospital for treatment.
Miksch said the driver’s name won’t be released unless charges are filed, but Dever indicated civil action is likely regardless of whether the driver faces charges.
The vehicle involved in the crash is a 2004 Nissan Altima, according to Miksch. The Altima was travelling south on Winter Street when it crossed the roadway and struck Russell. The vehicle then struck a pole, snapping it in half before coming to rest in the center of the roadway.
National Grid crews responded and shut off power to the area while pole repairs were made — a job that took about an hour. Approximately 480 customers lost power in Hanson and Hanover.
The road remained closed as members of the Hanson Police, Massachusetts State Police, and Plymouth County BCI investigated. The roadway remained closed for the afternoon as crews worked to restore power to the area. Hanson Police were also assisted by the Hanover Police Department. The office of Plymouth County DA Timothy Cruz is also investigating, a process that is still ongoing, according to spokesman Beth Stone.
A family steps in
Russell’s son is being looked after by her family members, including her ex-husband and the boy’s grandparents, according to Dever.
“The family is a strong and supportive one,” he said. “There’s an actively involved father. There are grandparents that are actively involved. There are wonderful aunts and an uncle. … Everyone is really trying to do what’s best for Amanda’s 8-year-old son.”
Dever said the family is in the process of setting up a fund for the boy’s education.
“It’s a tragic situation,” he said.
Russell’s colleagues at BIDMC are also mourning her death.
“I had intended no more blog posts for this year, but then Amanda died, and she merits recognition,” former Beth Israel CEO Paul Levy wrote on his “Not Running a Hospital” blog. “She was a loyal friend. Working in the most optimistic part of our hospital, she saw and delivered joy.”
Levy called her “a shining light in so many ways.”
As Russell was fond of posting sunrise photos on social media (#bidmcsunrise), dozens of her friends are honoring her life on Facebook with #sunrisesforamanda posts of their own sunrise photos, according to Levy.
As of Tuesday, Russell’s Crowdrise page for Team BIDMC had raised $19,073 — 254 percent over her original goal of $7,500 for what would have been her first Boston Marathon run. Her fellow labor and delivery nurse Nancy Eaton told Runner’s World magazine she now plans to run the marathon in Russell’s place — to earn the finishing medal Russell wanted so much.
A GoFundMe page has been created by Beth Sinibaldi of Marshfield to benefit Russell’s family, raising $26,721 of a $30,000 goal from donations by 440 people in six days.
“Amanda succumbed to her injuries earlier this week and gave the ultimate gift in her passing, the gift of life,” Sinibaldi wrote Dec. 30. “Amanda was always the first person to help out someone in need, she would always go that extra mile for anyone, and always with a smile on her face.”