Massachusetts police: Travel lanes no place for pedestrians

At least two people were killed in Massachusetts over the holiday weekend after getting out of their cars on the side of highways, police reported. State Police want drivers to know that travel lanes on busy highways are not a safe place to be.

One of the tragic motor vehicle accidents occurred Friday night and involved teenagers who appear to have been stopped in the median of Route 128 southbound in Lynnfield late Friday night.

Apparently, two teens had gotten out of their car and were standing in the travel lane when they were hit by another vehicle at about 11:45 p.m., police said. An 18-year-old Billerica man was killed and a 17-year-old Billerica woman was critically injured in the accident.

Police did not identify the woman or the two other passengers who were in the car at the time. Witnesses are still being interviewed in effort to determine what the teens were doing on the roadway, police said.

Another fatal accident occurred Saturday morning after a 38-year-old West Boylston man hit a guardrail on Interstate 190 northbound and got out of his vehicle, which had become disabled in the median.

Police said after exiting his vehicle the man was struck and killed by an oncoming pickup truck driven by a 42-year-old man. This accident occurred close to 1:15 a.m., and the 38-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigations are still proceeding in both accidents. As of yet, no charges appear to have been filed. However, a State Police spokesman said charges had not been “ruled out” in either case.

Even if criminal charges are not pursued against the drivers, it may still be possible for the drivers to face personal injury lawsuits brought by the accident victims and their families.

Source: The Boston Globe, “Two more fatal crashes occur on state highways,” Taylor M. Miles, Nov. 27, 2011.