Truck driver charged after West Bridgewater crash kills Easton motorcyclist

A fuel truck that struck and killed a 57-year-old Easton motorcyclist on Saturday did not have an ignition breathalyzer required by state law when a driver has a history of drunk driving, police said.

The motorcyclist, Robert F. Gallagher, 57, of North Easton, was pronounced dead at the scene of the 10:21 a.m. crash near 415 West St. that left him pinned under the truck.

The driver of the truck, Matthew A. Beaucaire, 27, of East Bridgewater, was arrested and charged with driving without an interlock device, driving without a license and failure to yield.

An ignition interlock device is required to be installed in any vehicle a driver owns, leases or operates when the driver has lost his or her license for driving drunk. The interlock device is installed in the dashboard of the vehicle, working like a breathalyzer to stop the vehicle from starting if the driver is intoxicated, said Regan.

Police Sgt. Russell Regan declined to comment on Beaucaire’s past driving record, stating the investigation is ongoing.

Police said Gallagher was on his 2013 Honda CRF250 motorcycle, heading east on West Street. Beaucaire, who was driving a 2013 Kenworth truck owned by Noonan Waste Services, was heading south from the north lot of J.P. Noonan’s to the south lot, having to cross West Street to get there.

The street was shut down for several hours while West Bridgewater police and a state police accident reconstruction team and truck team worked to figure out what happened.

When the original 9-1-1 call came in at 10:21 a.m., the caller said a motorcycle was pinned under a truck. The truck was identified as a J.P. Noonan truck on the 9-1-1 call.

Paul Noonan, terminal manager at the J.P. Noonan facility, said in an email: “We are all very saddened by the loss. But the truck is not a J.P. Noonan truck.”

When The Enterprise called Noonan Waste Services, an unidentified man who answered said the company is part of the J.P. Noonan Transportation Co. Inc. He added no one would be available to comment until Monday.

A relative of Gallagher said the family wasn’t ready to comment on Saturday afternoon.


Nursing Home Negligence

Falls in Nursing Homes

Litigators who work with cases involving long term care know how significant the issue of falls can be. Falls are the leading cause of injury and death by injury in adults over 65. Approximately half of the 1.6 million nursing home residents in the U.S. fall each year, and a report by the Office of the Inspector General found that about 10% of Medicare skilled nursing residents experience a fall resulting in significant injury; and, more than 1/3 of hospital falls result in injury. In the rehab setting, rates are often higher – for example, fall rates among stroke patients have been shown to be very high. Immobility and falls can lead to poor outcomes.

Fear of falling is defined as a geriatric syndrome. It not only occurs in older adults who have fallen, but in those with impaired mobility and is associated with decreased physical ability and depression. Care of older adults requires that clinicians be aware of the myriad of issues related to falls including knowledge of this syndrome, increased risk and interventions needed to prevent injury related to falls.

Just about every resident in a long term care setting, including assisted living and sub-acute rehab, is at risk for falling. Between medications, functional and medical issues and advancing age, older adults in most settings are prone to falling.

There are well established standards of care related to fall prevention; but, as I continue to review records related to issues like falls, I am amazed at how often these basic standards are not being practiced. The basics of a fall prevention program include assessment and ongoing reassessment of risk, ensuring a safe environment, medication review, providing therapy as needed, individualized interventions, and staff education.

Basic nursing practice includes assessment, planning (Care plan), putting interventions in place and then evaluating outcomes to determine if those interventions are appropriate and effective. Assessment includes completing fall risk assessments on admission and then as needed. Very often, the fall risk assessments completed by nurses in LTC are inaccurate. The tools utilized in long term care typically include these risk factors: history of falling, use of ambulatory aids, gait/balance issues, medications, secondary diagnoses (i.e. diabetes) and mental status. Care planning is the next step in nursing care - it is the standard of care that as the resident’s status changes, assessments and care plans must be updated, and often, are not. For example, with each fall, there should be updates, or if there is a new diagnosis, i.e. stroke, or worsening dementia, updated interventions should be put into place, with ongoing evaluation of effectiveness.

Care planning and interventions very often are generic and not individualized. For example, a toileting schedule that includes only after meals and before bedtime may not be appropriate. If a resident has issues with constipation or incontinence, this may lead to the need for more frequent toileting to prevent falls. The “make certain call bell is within reach” for residents with dementia is an example of a generic intervention. Older adults with dementia may not recognize a call bell or remember to use it. The debate about use of bed and chair alarms go on – they are a part of an individualized care plan, not a solution to preventing falls. Often, I see delays in putting interventions in place, i.e. with the resident who is incontinent NOT being put on a toileting plan immediately. The other common issue I see when reviewing records is the lack of updating care plans as the resident’s status changes – with every fall, with worsening dementia, physical decline, or new medical diagnosis (i.e. Parkinsonism).

Nurses reviewing records need to pay attention to the MDS, risk assessments, care plans and Interdisciplinary notes with attention to where the standard of care is not being met.
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6 days ago  ·  

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