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N.H. Man Faces Charges of Killing Two People With His Pickup Truck in Waltham

12:09 PM EST on December 7, 2023

A suburban two-lane road without sidewalks lined with trees with power lines on the right.

Totten Pond Road near Prospect Hill Park in Waltham, MA. Courtesy of Google Street View.

A New Hampshire man is facing charges of manslaughter and armed robbery after causing multiple crashes and killing two people in a sequence of hit-and-run crashes in Waltham on Wednesday afternoon.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney's office, the mayhem began at 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.

The alleged killer, Peter Simon, a 54 year-old man from Woodsville, N.H., reportedly attempted to make a U-turn in the middle of Totten Pond Road in Waltham when a driver following from behind struck the driver's side of his Ford F-150 pickup truck.

The D.A.'s office alleges that Simon then fled that crash by continuing east on Totten Pond Road. Roughly a quarter-mile to the east, there was a construction site where National Grid workers were repairing an underground gas line.

There, Simon allegedly drove his truck into Waltham Police Officer Paul Tracey, aged 58, and an as-yet unidentified National Grid construction worker, aged 36.

Both of those victims later died from injuries they sustained in the crash. Two other National Grid workers also suffered injuries, but were treated at a local hospital and later released.

The Middlesex County D.A.'s Office alleges that Simon then continued driving and struck multiple other vehicles before he finally abandoned his truck and attempted to flee on foot into a nearby residential neighborhood.

Simon then allegedly threatened another Waltham police officer with a knife, then stole a police cruiser to flee again. Simon then allegedly crashed that police car on Winter Street, on the west side of Waltham.

Waltham police finally apprehended Simon after a brief foot chase following that crash.

At an arraignment hearing on Thursday morning, Simon appeared in court with several lacerations on his face and a swollen left eye. He faces two charges of manslaughter, a count of armed robbery, a count of motor vehicle larceny, multiple counts of leaving the scene of a crash, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, and a charge of unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, among several other charges.

Totten Pond Road runs through the suburban north side of Waltham. On its western end, it connects to a busy highway interchange with Route 128, but about half a mile to the east, it narrows to a two-lane roadway without sidewalks as it curves around the north side of Prospect Hill Park.

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