Billerica woman struck by car on Christmas dies

BILLERICA – A 79-year-old Billerica woman who was struck by a car on Boston Road on Christmas night has died from her injuries.

Insook Choi was transported to Lahey Clinic in Burlington, where she was pronounced dead, police said.

On Wednesday at 7:43 p.m., Billerica police responded to a car crash involving a pedestrian at 770 Boston Road, between Cook Street and Allen Road. While en route, police learned that the victim was seriously injured and that good Samaritans had initiated lifesaving measures.

Within minutes, police officers, fire personnel and advanced emergency medical personnel arrived and took over.

Police said the driver remained at the scene and cooperated.

It appears the woman was crossing an undesignated area of Boston Road that was poorly lit when the accident occurred, according to police. There have been no citations or charges issued.

“We’re still looking to see if speed was a factor. There’s no reason to believe alcohol was involved,” said Deputy Chief Roy Frost. “That area is not meant for crossing, and it’s not extremely bright down there. This was an unfortunate accident.

“We’ve had a lot of pedestrian accidents in general,” he added. “This type of stuff is unfortunately happening.”

On Thursday, many people on Facebook wrote that the woman’s death is a “tragic loss.” In addition, some Facebook users said that stretch of Boston Road is dangerous.

“My prayers are with everyone involved. People need to be more careful on that road,” wrote Kristen Marie.

“So sad for all involved! It is really dark in that area. The poor woman and the poor driver and the first responders. Sad ending to Christmas,” commented Dawn Ransom Ringer.

“Very very sad! No safe sidewalks/crosswalks are common in Billerica… Somebody needs to make these areas safe before another tragedy happens!” Nicole Nanci wrote.

Billerica Selectmen Chairman Dave Gagliardi called the incident “unfortunate” and “tragic.” He said that Boston Road, Route 3A, is in the state’s jurisdiction, and the state Department of Transportation decides what sections to work on.

“We try to push every year for some work to get done, but every community is making pushes as well,” Gagliardi said. “MassDOT determines what needs are the greatest.”

Sidewalks could be coming to a different part of Boston Road in the next few years. As mitigation for the Middlesex House of Correction $37 million expansion project, the state would support constructing sidewalks on Boston Road from O’Connor True Value Hardware to the Shops at Billerica. This does not guarantee funding, only the state’s “full cooperation in support of the town.”

Choi lived at 4 Pinegrove Ave., according to the Town Clerk’s Office. The address is about a half-mile from where the accident took place, or a seven-minute walk, according to Google Maps.

Wednesday’s crash happened in front of the Jade Pacific restaurant on Boston Road. A man who answered the phone at the restaurant on Thursday said Choi had no connection to the restaurant and had not eaten there on Christmas.

Boston Road was closed for three hours between Allen Road and Cook Street for an accident investigation. The restaurant remained open.

A Massachusetts State Police reconstruction team was called in to assist.