Highway worker struck, killed by alleged drunken driver

MEDFORD, Mass. —A highway worker was struck and killed by an alleged drunken driver early Tuesday while working at a MassDOT construction site on Interstate 93.

Thomas O’Day, 52, of East Bridgewater, was picking up traffic cones when he was struck at 2:45 a.m. near exit 33 by James Scoville, 31, of Chelmsford, police said.

O’Day was employed by Hi-Way Safety Systems, Inc., a firm with a MassDOT district-wide pavement marking contract, and was a father of six children.

Scoville was taken into custody and will be charged with motor vehicle homicide and operating under the influence, Massachusetts State Police said.

The crash happened as the crew was involved in pavement marking, installing the solid white edge line in the area between the on and off ramps, officials said.

No detail officer was assigned to the job.

State police spokesman Dave Procopio said state police was asked by Hi-Way Safety Systems to provide a detail for the job, but it was determined state police would not be able to fill it.

“Last Thursday, June 23, we informed the company that we could not fill the Route 93 line painting detail and instructed them to call Woburn Police to request a detail from them,” Procopio said. Woburn police said they received a call about detail at 9 p.m. Monday, but were not made aware of the request beforehand.

Procopio also noted that line painting jobs with Hi-Way Safety in the Troop A area have consistently been given to local departments.

“‘Low risk’ sites do not have police details,” MassDOT said in a statement. “Because this ramp area work was deemed a ‘low risk’ site there was no police detail at the location of the crash, but there was the required deployment of logistics for this type of ‘low risk’ work including, flashing arrow signboard, two trucks with flashing lights and safety cones.”

“All of us at Hi-Way Safety Systems are saddened and shocked by the events early this morning that claimed the life of one employee and caused injury to another. We are working closely with the Massachusetts State Police and other authorities to help determine exactly what happened,” the company said in a statement.

A second company worker, a 33-year-old Taunton man, was on the rear of a company truck that was struck. That worker sustained minor injuries.

“At the time of the crash, a work zone safety setup was in place, including safety cones, warning signs and two truck mounted attenuator trucks with arrow boards in the setup — one stationary at the beginning of the zone and one that was associated with placing/picking up cones,” officials said.

Scoville is scheduled to be arraigned in Somerville District Court.

On Monday, a MassDOT worker was hit near the Ted Williams Tunnel in Boston by an alleged drunken driver.

Dennis McNeil, was working a construction site on the Massachusetts Turnpike westbound side at 12:55 a.m. when he was struck, officials said.

Police said the driver, Carlos M. Gonzalez, 59, of Boston, fled the scene.

A member of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department arrested Gonzalez beyond the Congress Street ramp in the tunnel.