Woman pinned under car

After Port Plaza accident, victim MedFlighted to Boston

NEWBURYPORT – An elderly Pine Street woman was flown to a Boston-area hospital yesterday afternoon after she was struck and pinned under a car as the driver backed out of a space in the Port Plaza parking lot.

City Marshal Thomas Howard said Virginia Poirier was struck by an SUV driven by a Salisbury woman around 3:15 p.m. and stuck underneath the vehicle for about 10 minutes before being freed. A Port Plaza employee was first at the scene near Hana Japan restaurant and was able to begin lifting up the rear of the Dodge Pacifica with a jack he had stored in his truck.

Poirier was transported to Anna Jaques Hospital only a few blocks away, where she was immediately placed on a medical helicopter and flown to Boston, according to a hospital spokesperson.

According to the city of Newburyport’s book of residents, Poirier was born in 1924 and is retired.

Police are still investigating the accident, but as of yesterday evening, the driver had not been charged. According to Howard, the driver had looked behind her and glanced at her rearview mirrors but was unable to see the pedestrian, who had walked behind her vehicle.

“Right now it just looks like a horrible accident,” Howard said.

Howard said the victim’s head was located near the rear right tire and her feet near the left rear tire. Police are still determining whether she was run over or knocked underneath. She was conscious and alert when emergency responders began treating her, Howard added.

A swarm of ambulances, fire engines, police cruisers and a Volpone tow truck converged at the scene of the accident, near the Low Street entrance to the highly congested parking lot. The accident drew dozens of onlookers, including many from plaza businesses. Police Sgt. William Steeves interviewed onlookers at the scene.

The driver, visibly shaken, was met by two friends, one of whom embraced her tightly.

Other responding officers included Howard, Nora Duggan, John Schmidt, Charles Vorderis and Lt. Richard Siemasko.