NEWS Safety concerns grow on Chicopee roads as cyclist involved in Thursday’s crash dies

Safety concerns grow on Chicopee roads as cyclist involved in Thursday's crash dies

Chicopee, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) – A cyclist who was hit by a vehicle on Meadow Street today has died. It was the third fatal crash in the city in less than two weeks.

The crash came a day before the Chicopee mayor and police chief were set to speak about the fatal accidents. Residents interviewed by Western Mass News said the issues require some action.

“It’s very disturbing. We need to do something about it,” Mike said.

Police were called to the scene after a cyclist crashed on Meadow Street about 9:00am on Thursday morning.

“As they responded to the scene, they located the man lying on the ground. He was taken to the hospital,” said Travis Odiorne, public information officer for the Chicopee Police Department.

Meadow Street was closed for several hours while the Chicopee accident reconstruction team was on scene. The cyclist later died.

It was the city’s third fatal crash involving a car and a pedestrian or cyclist in less than two weeks.

On nearby Chicopee Street, two Chicopee men were killed in two separate accidents while crossing the street last week. William Matteson on Monday and Gary Turcotte on Wednesday.

They don’t stop. They sped up the road, especially during the hours when the school bus was picking up our kids, I was actually nearly hit twice on a crosswalk near the store…and I’m an adult. I will pay attention. I’m trying to teach my son to pay attention, but there are kids here,” said Chicopee’s Kerry Taylor.

Taylor expressed her concerns to Western Mass News about the driving problems she noticed on Dale Street.

“Pausing for pedestrians has been the law for many years, but people think it’s more of a consideration than a law … drivers themselves should be aware of all traffic because foot traffic is traffic,” Taylor said.

However, other residents say it’s a two-way street.

“Speeding is an issue on Chicopee roads, but I mean pedestrians and drivers need to be aware of their surroundings, people crossing the road need to be more vigilant,” said Mike Neylon of Chicopee.

He said he has also noticed a lot of unsafe behavior by pedestrians in the city.

“Many of them just walked out without looking. Some people were distracted looking at their phones while they were walking. They might just walk down and try to cross the street, but they didn’t pay attention, didn’t use the crosswalk… When you’re young, You’re taught how to cross the street. You look both ways before you cross the street, and if you see someone coming you wait until dawn,” Neylon said.

There have been 15 fatal pedestrian crashes in Pioneer Valley so far this year, according to data released by MassDOT. Chicopee accounts for a third of that.

Mayor John Vieau and Chicopee police are expected to address the issues Friday, and residents said they were happy to hear about them.

“I’m glad they’re going to fix this. I hope it comes sooner,” Taylor said.

“They’re very smart people. I’m sure they’ll come up with some good solutions,” Neylon said.

Thursday’s crash remains under investigation by the Chicopee Police Department’s crash reconstruction team and the Hampden District Attorney’s Office. The driver of the car remained at the scene and is cooperating with investigators, they said.

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