(Hired Our Firm) Fitchburg boy, 3, recovering after being struck by pickup

By Jack Minch,

Posted: 05/21/2010 06:32:28 AM EDT

FITCHBURG — Dennis “D.J.” William, 3, is recovering from serious injuries he suffered on Sunday when a pickup truck hit him as he was crossing Willow Street to meet his mother, according to his family and police reports.

D.J. was still being treated at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester Thursday, but was out of the intensive care unit, said his aunt, Lakeisha Blackington.

The hospital’s policy is not to release information on patients under 21 years old, a hospital spokesperson said.

Police Sgt. Glenn Fossa declined to release the name of the driver of the truck that hit the boy, but said he has not been ticketed.

The family had just returned from Chuck E. Cheese, where it had celebrated D.J.’s and his twin sister Isabella’s third birthdays when the accident happened in front of their home at 43 Willow St., said the boy’s grandmother, Sharron Mills.

The family said D.J. suffered serious injuries, including a punctured lung, as well as fractures to his pelvis, collarbone, three ribs and left ankle, Mills said.

“They said he’s going to be in a wheelchair until he heals,” Mills said.

Mills, Blackington and D.J.’s aunt, Torrie Hughes, want the city to slow traffic on the road, which runs past Green Street Park.

“We want to make sure it doesn’t happen to anybody else’s kid, that’s our main concern,” Blackington said. “If they have to shut it down to keep it safe, shut it down.”

Mills suggested the city close the street at the park to protect children.

“It’s like a thruway,” she said.

The speed limit is 25 mph in thickly-settled neighborhoods in the city, even if there is not a sign posted, Fossa said.

It seems unlikely the street would be closed without a study of how it would affect traffic flow, he said.

City Councilor at-large Stephan Hay and Ward 5 Councilor Joseph Solomito spoke to the Police Department, requesting more traffic enforcement in the area, Hay said.

The department could put in a portable digital speed monitor and put up signs to limit speed, he said.

“If they have to hand out tickets to get people to slow down, we’ll do that,” Hay said.

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