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Canton’s police chief will face trial for striking a pedestrian in a crosswalk with a city-owned SUV, officials say

Canton’s police chief will face trial for striking a pedestrian in a crosswalk with a city-owned SUV, officials say

Canton Police Chief Helena Rafferty, who was charged with failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, issued a statement more than a month after she struck a person with a municipal vehicle in Wrentham.

Chief Rafferty said in a statement Monday that she was driving home in her official SUV on Feb. 16 when she “accidentally” hit a Wrentham resident. The police chief said she was making a left turn from South Street onto Creek Street when she spotted the pedestrian’s high-visibility vest.

“I immediately applied the brakes but unfortunately the car came into contact with him and knocked him to the ground. I immediately exited my vehicle to administer first aid and called 911,” the chief said.

Rafferty said she remained on scene throughout the emergency response to answer questions and also requested a breathalyzer test for herself.

“The score was 0.00,” said an incident report released by Wrentham police, adding that Rafferty “was issued a civil citation” that night for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Rafferty said Monday she has since paid the fine.

The pedestrian, identified as Michael Barry, was taken to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment after he sustained a laceration to the right side of his head and complained of pain in his left knee, a report said.

Barry’s attorney, Seth Jacobs, told Boston 25 News on Monday that he suffered multiple fractures to his legs, ribs and shoulder. He had to undergo serious knee surgery and spent a week in the hospital and a second week in rehab, Jacobs said.

“He is grateful for the help provided by first responders on scene and he still has a long road to recovery ahead of him,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs said his client hasn’t decided whether or not he will file a lawsuit, but said he has contacted the city of Canton’s insurance company.

On the night of the accident in February, emergency services at the scene took photos of the SUV, which showed no significant damage.

“There was a white scuff mark on the front passenger’s front bumper that was either from MICHAEL’s person or his cane (see photo),” the report states. “No further damage was found [motor vehicle] #1 and no towing was required as it was operational. I noted that the area of ​​the crash was poorly lit with only one fluorescent lamp.”

A witness to the crash also contacted officers at the scene and told them that Rafferty “was not acting erratically prior to the crash,” according to the report.

While Rafferty said she informed Cantonment officials of the incident, she expressed regret for not informing the public.

“Upon further consideration and given the extensive attention given to Canton, I should have issued a statement sooner,” she wrote.

The canton’s police were under extensive observation with regard to how they dealt with this Karen Read murder case. Read is accused of running over her boyfriend John O’Keefe, a Boston police officer, with her SUV in front of 34 Fairview Rd in Canton shortly after midnight on January 29, 2022.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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