The 63-year-old Gloucester man struck and seriously injured by a car on the Route 128 Extension the night before remained hospitalized Wednesday night as Massachusetts State Police worked to reconstruct the accident.
Richard Souza, of 11 Fair St., was attempted to cross a turning lane on the Extension where it intersects with Eastern Avenue at around 7 p.m. Tuesday, but was struck by a car apparently turning from the lower part of Eastern onto the Extension toward East Main Street and Bass Avenue.
According to an initial police report, a witness to the accident said the driver of the car had a green light and did not appear to be speeding.
First responders to the scene of the accident found Souza unconscious and barely breathing, according to the police report. Souza was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital by helicopter, which landed and then took off from O’Maley Middle School.
Souza remained unconscious while hospitalized Wednesday; hospital officials could not provide an update in his condition last night. Emergency personnel saie he had sustained severe head trauma in the crash.
The intersection at Eastern Avenue and Route 128 is seen by many as a difficult one to cross on foot, despite the crosswalks and traffic lights.
The right turn lanes are not controlled by the stoplights that control the rest of the intersection, a close look by the Times at the accident scene confirmed Wednesday. Also, though one turn has a stop sign and another a yield sign — both entering and exiting the upper part of the Extension as it comes down the hill from Blackburn Circle, the turning lane in which Souza was struck has no traffic sign at all.
Initially, police were unable to identify Souza, since he did not have any identification on him at the time of the accident. According to Gloucester police, however, Souza’s wife Lori called police late Tuesday night to report that her husband had not come home from a walking trip to Shaw’s supermarket on Eastern Avenue.
According to State Police, who took over the investigation when it became clear that the accident took place on Route 128, there has been no decision on whether to charge the driver of the car that struck Souza. The driver is described by Gloucester police as a 31-year-old East Main Street woman.
Barry McKay, longtime Gloucester firefighter and retired fire chief, came onto the scene moments after the crash.
McKay said that another person who witnessed the accident went to Souza to stabilize his neck to prepare him to be moved to the helicopter and the hospital.