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· Subscribing Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cop struck working detail

By Andrew Hickey

Staff wr

SALEM -- A city police officer sacrificed his own safety yesterday when he pushed a MassElectric worker out of the path of a speeding car while working a private detail for the company on Marlborough Road.

But in saving the worker, Patrolman Philias Verrette Jr., an 11-year veteran of the force, was seriously injured around 3:45 p.m. when a Hyundai driven by Maryellan Flynn, 60, of Peabody, slammed into him at the work site at the intersection of Marlborough Road and Cloverdale Avenue.

Verrette's legs were mangled and he suffered face and mouth injuries, witnesses said. Responding officers found Verrette underneath the massive yellow work truck.

He was taken to Boston Medical Center by Medflight helicopter and was listed in fair condition late last night, a hospital spokeswoman said. Police Lt. Scott Englehardt said Verrette's injuries did not appear life-threatening.

The MassElectric employee was also hurt in the crash. Police said the worker suffered a gash on his arm and was taken to Salem Hospital. His name was not available late last night.

According to police, Flynn was driving north on Marlborough Road when she hit Verrette and the MassElectric work truck. Englehardt said it was unclear last night if Flynn hit the truck or the officer first but said that Verrette pushed the worker out of the way just before he was struck.

Flynn's car continued north before it stopped on the lawn of 40 Marlborough Road with major front-end damage and a shattered windshield. The crash left a long trail of debris scattered along the road.

Flynn will be charged with reckless operation of a motor vehicle, improper passing and driving at a speed greater than reasonable in a work zone, Englehardt said.

For hours last night, Salem police and a state police accident reconstruction team photographed the crash site and took meticulous measurements to determine what happened. The crash investigation caused massive traffic backups along all streets that lead to Marlborough Road, which was closed for several hours.

The circumstances of the crash remain under investigation by Sgt. Robert Carter and Patrolman Brian Butler.

Flynn told police at the scene that the last thing she remembered was moving books from the seat of her car prior to the crash. She was taken to the police station for questioning and was later taken to Salem Hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Jackie Barry, a MassElectric spokeswoman, said crews were on Marlborough Road yesterday installing new power lines. The company had hired Verrette to handle the private detail, she said.

The work site was clearly marked with several road cones and large, bright orange "Utility Work" signs. The speed limit along Marlborough Road is posted as 30 miles.

"We had taken all of the necessary safety precautions," Barry said.

The crash drew dozens of neighbors out of their homes and into the street to watch investigators.

Liz Fogarty, who lives on Marlborough Road, said she was in her yard when she heard the crash.

"It sounded like an explosion -- a really loud bang," she said. "Someone yelled to me, 'An officer is down, call 911.'"

Brian Murray, who was on Cloverdale Avenue, also came running.

"I could see the cop lying underneath the truck," he said. "It was kind of surreal. He had a lot of blood on his face. He looked pretty bad."

Murray said Verrette was coherent and conscious when he was loaded into an ambulance to await the helicopter.

"He couldn't move, I felt so bad," he said. "He said he felt like his leg was crushed and that he might have chipped or broken some of his teeth."

Several residents said Marlborough Road, especially near the intersection with Cloverdale Avenue, is dangerous and that it's rare that drivers obey the 30 mph speed limit.

"There are a lot of accidents on this road, usually from speeding," Fogarty said.

Verrette is the second Salem officer this year to be hit by a car while working a private detail.

On Feb. 9, Patrolman Brian Norris was "clipped" by a Honda Accord while working a detail for Keyspan near the intersection of Bridge and Webb streets.

Though the force of the impact sent Norris into the air and knocked him to the ground, he escaped serious injury.

The driver in that crash was cited for failing to slow down for a pedestrian in the roadway, police said.

Englehardt said that two officers who are now retired were also hit by cars and injured while they were on the force and working private details.

*****Thoughts and prayers to him and his family for a quick recovery.***********

· Subscribing Member
1,207 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
40th MPOC#309 @ 25 Jul 2004 05:30 said:
God Bless this Officer-heres to a speedy recovery, and a decoration for bravery and selflessness. Would the outcome be the same with a flagman? Me thinks NOT!!!
Absolutely Right On!

Anybody got a link to the media coverage of this HERO? Probably not, as it would conflict with the media's current war on overpaid cops.
Cops??? Hero???? You must have mixed up hero with John Kerry. Cops are those people that demand to high wages, new equipment every 30 years, beat minoritys, sack citys, are bound to take away your civil rights, keep DD going and are lazy civil servents who mall security look like the feds........... :roll: :roll: :roll: :evil: :evil: :x
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