Police said 21-year-old twin brothers were in critical condition on Wednesday at Massachusetts General Hospital after being struck by a Hummer in the street outside their Boston Street home Tuesday night.
Riley and Dillon McManus, of 701 Boston St., were struck by a 2003 Hummer driven by Angela Okenkwo, 36, of Lynn, at 11:01 p.m., said Lynn Police Department spokesperson Lt. Christopher Kelly.
“They are awesome kids, great kids,” said Steve Rosenbaum Wednesday afternoon outside the family’s home. Rosenbaum said he had become friends with the family through the Boston Church of Christ and held both boys — or “our Frick and Frack,” as he called them — in his hands after they were born. He recalled how Riley and Dillon McManus joined his son to rake leaves for elderly members of the church.
“They are always the first volunteers,” he said.
No one answered the door at the McManus family home Wednesday afternoon and a telephone message was not returned.
Lynn Police responding to the scene in Austin Square found the two men lying in the roadway, and Lynn Fire, emergency medical services and State Police also responded to the scene, Kelly said.
Kelly said the investigation is ongoing and, as of Wednesday, police did not know what caused the accident.
Neighbor Lisa Dixon said Wednesday she heard “what sounded like two cars were being hit,” the night before but did not witness the accident or observe the scene at the time. She said a relative contacted her son to make sure he wasn’t involved.
She said she worries about safety at the intersection of Summer and Boston streets, and that she always told her son when he was growing up to be aware of cars that “fly down this street.”
“To me it needs to be addressed,” she said. “This intersection is not a good intersection at all.”
She and several neighbors said the intersection had been re-configured a decade ago. The city eliminated a short road between Summer and Boston streets by connecting what was then a traffic island to the sidewalk, several neighbors said. Dixon said the city also added a lane to allow westbound traffic on Boston Street to turn left onto Summer.
Rollin Avenue resident Dave White said he thought re-configuring the intersection helped and that he doesn’t know if there is more the city could do to improve safety.
White said he was woken up at approximately 1:30 a.m. Wednesday and noticed a police car at the intersection. He noted it was pouring rain and windy at that time, and he speculated that the visibility may have been poor when the accident occurred.
Neighbor Gary Nagle said that both Summer and Boston streets run straight prior to the intersection and allow cars to speed up.
Westbound drivers are also descending a hill while a convenience store in the square attracts neighbors in the primarily residential area.
Riley’s former lacrosse Coach Peter Pappagianopoulos said he had both Riley and Dillon in class when they were freshmen at Classical.
He said they are “both great kids,” and he knew Riley particularly well, as Riley was his starting goaltender on the combined Classical-English lacrosse team.
“He’s a heart-and-soul type of guy. He was always ready to practice, always ready for a game, always ready to help,” Pappagianopoulos said Wednesday. We didn’t win a lot but when we did it was because of him.”
He said Riley came back after graduating in 2011 and volunteered to help the new goaltender last season.
Pappagianopoulos said several former lacrosse players began contacting him Wednesday as people learned about the accident.
My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family,” Pappagianopoulos said. “And hopefully things will be okay.”