One of the first women members of the Massachusetts State Police force died yesterday after being hit by a drunk driver in 2003 and suffering major brain damage.
The trooper, who was 58 when she died, lived in a Massachusetts rehab facility since the accident, where her condition worsened and she struggled to merely breathe. Because of her condition, her family members decided to bring in hospice care about a month ago.
The tragic accident occurred on June 26, 2003, when a drunken 18-year-old driver crashed his dad’s car into her cruiser, which had its lights flashing, at close to 100 miles per hour.
“[She] loved the Massachusetts State Police and the job loved her back,” a state Police Colonel and her former drill sergeant told the Boston Herald.
Massachusetts law enforcement officials hope that this story serves as a wakeup call to drivers who get behind the wheel and are distracted or impaired. In fact, troopers being hit by these drivers while on the side of the road is getting to be a real problem in the state.
The Boston Herald reported that 45 on-duty troopers have been hit while on the side of the road in the past 18 months, almost half of which involved drunk drivers.
“There is no one common denominator (in these crashes) other than impairment and distraction,” the State Police Colonel said.
The June 2003 accident had not been the first time the woman trooper had been hit by a drunk driver. Remarkably, she had been struck twice before, but continued to perform the job she loved serving the people of Massachusetts.
Source: Boston Herald, “Trooper’s fight for life ends,” Margery Eagan, 6/2/2011.