On Friday, December 7, longtime Milton resident Mary Harris was visiting her son at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton. That evening, as she walked back to her West Street home, the 78-year old was struck by a vehicle as it traveled down Highland Street from the hospital’s rear driveway toward Canton Avenue.
Harris was pronounced dead at BID-Milton a short time later.
“From all appearances, it seems to be a terrible accident,” Deputy Police Chief Charles Paris said Wednesday, adding the slight rain and dusk skies—not speed—were likely contributors.
The Milton Police Department investigation into the accident is complete, though the MPD is still waiting on a final report from the State Police reconstruction experts. Those reports usually take about a month, Paris said.
A doctor driving a Jeep struck Harris in the middle of the northbound lane, near the hospital, according to Paris. The vehicle stopped immediately.
The hospital side of the road where Harris was hit has a sidewalk, while the other does not. There are streetlights, but the rear driveway to the hospital is dark, especially around 5 p.m. on a rainy evening like last Friday.
Harris may have been in the middle of the road, because she didn’t see the sidewalk, Paris suggested.
After checking with Police Chief Richard Wells Jr., who sits on the Milton Traffic Commission, Paris said the town may ask Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton to add more lights to the rear driveway.
“It’s going to be a topic of discussion,” Paris said.
This is the second fatal pedestrian and vehicle accident in Milton involving a septuagenarian in the past two months.
On November 1, a 75-year-old man was struck by a vehicle on Randolph Avenue while crossing the street after getting off the bus.
In both incidents, there is generally low foot traffic in the street and no crosswalks or stop indicators.
Memorial Service for Mary Harris will be held at First Congregational Church of Milton on Saturday, December 15, at 2 p.m.