Police will likely not charge the 29-year-old driver whose dump truck struck and killed 90-year-old Palma A. Johnson while she was walking to morning Mass on Dec. 11, said Deputy Police Chief Stephan Semerjian.
Accident reconstructionists advised against charging the driver, Norwood resident Derek Hamlin, who was operating a 10-wheel dump truck for Joe Woodall & Son Construction of Franklin after concluding he was driving in a "reasonable manner" and reacted properly, he said.
Johnson was walking on a crosswalk on Pleasant Street at 6:56 a.m., coming from the charter school area, when Hamelin's truck hit her, he said.
"It was a very rainy, dark morning," Semerjian said.
Police reports also stated Johnson was wearing all black and using a black umbrella to shield herself from the rain, said Lt. Thomas Lynch. There have been a number of accidents at Church Square, Semerjian said, speculating that many drivers are coming from the Norfolk direction toward St. Mary's and are probably focused on the traffic lights rather than the crosswalk 40 or 50 feet past the lights.
The accident reconstruction was "pretty exhaustive," Semerjian said.
Police conducted a test of the ambient light.
"At no time did it reach a point where the light measure would have allowed him (Hamlin) to see. (He) was operating in a safe manner in regards to the road conditions," Semerjian said.
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