2021 Was A Record-Breaking Year For Deaths on Massachusetts Roadways

A makeshift memorial to Marshall Mac, a 72-year-old Vietnam War veteran, who died after a hit-and-run driver struck him on McGrath Highway near Foss Park in Somerville.
A makeshift memorial to Marshall Mac, a 72-year-old Vietnam War veteran, who died after a hit-and-run driver struck him on McGrath Highway near Foss Park in Somerville.

At least 408 people died in crashes in Massachusetts during 2021, making it the deadliest year on Massachusetts roadways in over a decade, according to MassDOT.

The victims included 76 people who were on foot or in a wheelchair when they were killed by a car, and 5 bicyclists.

MassDOT does not record victims’ names, but from other news reports, we know that the lives lost include Gayle Ball, a Springfield librarian, killed while crossing the street outside her workplace in November, and Michael Diaz Vargas, 40, killed by another driver on the same street a few days before.

There was also Charles Braun, a Northampton musician, who was killed while riding his bike when a driver allegedly distracted by a video chat killed him with her car outside Northampton High School.

And there was Marshall Mac, a 72-year-old Vietnam War veteran, killed by a hit-and-run driver on McGrath Highway near Foss Park in Somerville.

There were additionally 2,260 crashes that caused serious injuries, and over 25,000 crashes that caused minor or possible injuries over the course of 2021.

While high, the number of injury-causing crashes were down slightly for 2021 compared to 2019, before the pandemic, according to MassDOT’s crash database.

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