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May 2011 Archives

Woman Hit, Injured by Empty Car in Beacon Hill

On Wednesday, May 25, there was a traffic accident in Beacon Hill which sent a pedestrian to the hospital with serious injuries. Unfortunately, this doesn't sound that unusual, until you add the fact that the car that hit the unnamed victim was empty at the time.

A 45-year-old woman was crossing in the crosswalk witnesses told The Boston Globe, when a fast moving and driverless BMW struck her, dragged her across the intersection and left her pinned under the car when it came to a stop. When witness Augustina Wheelis, 27, saw the empty car rolling backward, slamming into a nearby Smartcar, "I just knew something bad happened.''

The victim was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with serious injuries including bone fractures and a head wound, according to a Boston police report. At last report she remained in guarded condition.

Jon O'Keefe, a 31-year old teacher, was recently fired from his job for allegedly "friending" a student on Facebook and engaging in other inappropriate communications. While the details of O'Keefe's exchange with his student have not been disclosed, his actions bring to light activities in the cyber-world that can create real-world injuries.

According to the Boston Globe, O'Keefe was a substitute teacher and tennis coach at Abington High School. As a teacher and coach, O'Keefe was in a position of power over his students, and he potentially abused this position by developing a personal relationship with a student on the social media website Facebook.

Dog Bite Tips: How To Prevent Your Dog From Biting

National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which occurs between May 15 and May 21, is now coming to a close, according to Huffpost Green. But with 78 million pet dogs in the country and more than 4.5 million people who have suffered from dog bites or animal attacks, it is still important for Boston pet owners and lovers to learn how to prevent a dog from biting and how to avoid getting bitten.

"People get bitten because they see a dog they don't know," said Davie Dickinson of the Sacramento County Animal Care and Regulation in California. "They go up to it and they think the first thing you should do is put their hand out and let the dog sniff your hand."

T Bus Driver Sharina Byrd Avoids Bus Accident After Assault

As some Boston locals may have heard, a passenger on the #86 bus allegedly attacked 24-year-old rookie T bus driver Sharina Byrd of Dorchestor in an attempt to crash the vehicle into oncoming traffic close to the intersection of Chestnut Hill and Commonwealth Avenue.

But the Boston Herald reported that Byrd was able to prevent the potentially fatal bus accident by immediately applying the emergency break after the suspect, 52-year-old Donald Lyons, supposedly reached over and grabbed Byrd's neck and the steering wheel.

The bus initially began swerving into approaching traffic when Lyons tried to take the wheel, but it came to a sudden stop after Byrd pulled the emergency break.

Judith Tavarez Accuses Suffolk Jail Of Negligence In Dad's Death

Florida resident Judith Tavarez, the daughter of immigrant detainee Pedro Tavarez, has filed a lawsuit against the Suffolk County House of Correction and its officials, accusing the privately run prison of gross negligence for the death of her father in October 2009.

Judith Taverez claimed the Suffolk jail and its prison officials were recklessly negligent when her father "died from a heart attack caused by a massive sepsis infection that the defendants failed to properly treat."

The lawsuit also alleged medical malpractice and civil rights violations and referred to a federal report filed last year that suggested Suffolk officials waited too long to bring Pedro to the hospital for treatment, according to The Boston Globe.

Amtrak Starts Replacing Defective Concrete Ties On MTBA Lines

Amtrak has begun a three-month project in Boston where "defective" concrete ties that have caused headaches for many T riders on the Old Colony line will now be replaced. The Boston Herald reported that the project will likely have a large effect on four MBTA commuter rail lines, leading to less scheduled trips and more crowded trains.

Amtrak spokesman Clifford Cole said the concrete ties, which were manufactured by Colorado-based company Rocla Concrete Ties, "were supposed to last 50 years" but actually did not "last but 10 years" since the time they were installed in the early 1990s in the Hub's southwest tracks.

Study: Monitoring Can Reduce Use Of CT Scans for Brain Injuries

Many brain injuries among children can leave large bruises or even head wounds big enough to require stitches, as some Boston parents may have experienced. But most minor head injuries do really not need a CT scan, which some experts might agree are used too frequently to check on head injuries that are of no risk to the brain.

According to The Boston Globe, a study by the journal Pediatrics indicates the use of CT scans could be reduced by half for kids who have suffered moderate injuries that cause a concussion or vomiting with just careful monitoring for a couple of hours in the emergency room.

2 Teens In Phoebe Prince Bullying Case Sentenced To Probation

In the bullying case involving 15-year-old victim Phoebe Prince, The Boston Globe reported that a judge recently sentenced two of the six teens who were charged in connection with her death to one year of probation.

As many Boston residents may have heard, Prince committed suicide in January 2010, hanging herself at her family's South Hadley home after some of her classmates bullied her. Eighteen-year-olds Sean Mulveyhill and Kayla Narey were among those who were charged in Prince's death.

NTSB: Aiden Quinn's Distracted Driving Caused 2009 Train Crash

Aiden Quinn, the operator of a Green Line trolley, told investigators that he had texted his girlfriend and even attempted to call her in the moments leading up to the 2009 train crash near Government Center Station, where Quinn rear-ended another train that was in the tunnel. The collision caused $9.6 million in damages left 68 people suffering injuries.

According to the Boston Globe, Quinn said he called his girlfriend and left her a message while he turned the trolley on a loop at the Government Center and then began texting her when he left the station. A federal investigative report stated he was also accelerating close to the 25 mph speed limit allowed on the track “just before” he hit the train ahead of him.

Train Accident Victim Samantha Mattei Sues MTBA For Injuries

Samantha Mattei, a 21-year-old college student from Salem, is now one among 12 plaintiffs who are suing the MBTA for a brutal train accident in 2009 that left 68 victims injured. Aiden Quinn, the driver at the time, was apparently texting his girlfriend while driving a Green Line trolley when the collision occurred.

Mattei sat in the first car of the Green Line trolley when it slammed into another train close to Government Center, reported the Boston Herald. The impact from the crash caused her to fly off her seat and strike a pole, leaving her with a cracked temple and fractured back while she lost consciousness twice.