Whitman accidents injure 2 pedestrians
WHITMAN — Police and fire personnel responded to two separate pedestrian accidents on Thursday, Dec. 17 in which the pedestrians involved were both transported to South Shore Hospital.
No charges have been filed against drivers in either incident, according to police.
At about 7 a.m., Dec. 17, a female high school student was transported to the South Shore Hospital for non-life threatening injuries after being struck by the side mirror of a car near 309 Washington St., while she crossed the road to get on the school bus.
During rainy conditions at about 5 p.m. that day, another accident seriously injured a pedestrian in the crosswalk in front of the post office on South Avenue.
The victim Leon Baker, 68, of School Street in Whitman was walking in the crosswalk. He was dressed in dark clothes when he was struck by a Honda Civic, according to police. Baker sustained serious injuries and was listed in fair condition Saturday at South Shore Hospital.
The 33-year-old male driver from Brockton, whose name has not been released, immediately pulled over, according to Police Chief Scott Benton.
“He stopped and went to Mr. Baker to try to help and was cooperative with Whitman police,” Benton said.
A Massachusetts State Police Reconstruction Team responded to the scene and, based on the analysis at the scene with Whitman’s investigating officers, it was recommended and then determined that the driver would not face charges.
Contributing factors to the incident were weather conditions and poor lighting. The driver was not found to be at fault, said Benton.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Mr. Baker,” Benton said. “He and his family are well known in town. He participates in town government and he is a volunteer. At this time of year with the holidays we hope he makes a full and speedy recovery.”
Leon’s Brother Lenny Baker, also a Whitman-Hanson graduate still living locally, is a famed musician of television and the musical group Sha Na Na.
No further information was available on the condition of the teen hurt in Thursday morning’s accident.
The initial investigation by Whitman police was that the side mirror of a car struck her as an elderly woman went past the stopped school bus, according to Benton.
The bus driver, whose name has not been released, works for First Student Bus Company. She initially reported to police her red flasher lights were on for the students to safely cross the street. However, after a statement and corrected report by the bus driver to Whitman police she informed the investigating officer her yellow lights were on, not her red lights, which would have activated the cross board on the front of the bus to signal that all traffic must stop.
“The bus driver made the determination to allow two more cars to pass before activating her red lights. The student, anticipating the red lights, then stepped into traffic and was struck by the car. She was not hit by the bus,” Benton said clarifying incorrect information that was possibly started on social media.
The women driver of the grey sedan was shaken and did stop at the scene. A male who identified himself as the son of the driver said his mother “is elderly and very upset.” He did not want to speak further.
He was driving her home following the accident.
Two women who reside across from the bus stop said approximately five students wait at the bus stop daily.
Tina Burnell, whose daughter is a high school student, said her daughter was right behind the girl who was struck and that she had been upset by the incident.
Benton said Monday that no charges were filed against either driver.