Drivers In Worcester Have Killed Two People in the Past 24 Hours

Elm Park and the intersection of Park Avenue and Elm Street in Worcester, where a person fatally steered their motor vehicle into a 66 year-old victim on the evening of Tuesday, November 26, 2019.
Elm Park and the intersection of Park Avenue and Elm Street in Worcester, where a person fatally steered their motor vehicle into a 66 year-old victim on the evening of Tuesday, November 26, 2019.

In two separate incidents last night, people driving motor vehicles struck and killed two people walking in Worcester.

The first crash happened shortly after sunset near the entrance to the city’s Elm Park, near the corner of Park Avenue and Elm Street.

According to Worcester Police, the driver of a Hyundai sedan steered their vehicle into a sixty-six year-old male victim, whose name has not been released.

Worcester Police say that they are currently not pressing charges against the perpetrator, but an investigation is ongoing.

Park Avenue is designed as a high-speed, four-lane arterial that divides Elm Park, the city’s oldest park. Four of Park Avenue’s intersections in Worcester – including two within a quarter-mile of the crash site – are identified as “top crash locations” in MassDOT’s inventory of statewide traffic safety hazards.

A few hours later, and about a mile to the west, a second killing occurred at the wide intersection of May Street and Chandler Street near the main entrance to Worcester State University campus.

There, shortly after midnight Wednesday morning, Worcester Police reportedly found an unresponsive 54-year-old victim, who was later identified as Devalter Marini Rocha of Framingham.

Rocha was also rushed to a local hospital and pronounced dead.

According to a preliminary investigation, police say that a 23-year-old driver initially steered a 2011 Toyota Camry into a parked vehicle, then drove on a sidewalk, where his vehicle ran over a flower box and a street sign.

The perpetrator then reportedly swerved back into the street, crossed over the centerline, and killed Rocha on the opposite side of the street, before striking another unoccupied parked car and finally coming to rest on the front lawn of Worcester State University.

Police are pursuing charges against this driver, and the investigation is ongoing.

Worcester is the second-largest city in Massacusetts. To date, its city government has not committed to the Vision Zero goal of eliminating serious injuries and deaths on city streets, but the City Council did adopt a “complete streets” policy in December 2017.

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