Heavy police presence in Chicopee after two deadly crashes

Heavy police presence in Chicopee after two deadly crashes
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 10:52 PM EST
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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -Days after two deadly pedestrian accidents on Chicopee Street in Chicopee, Western Mass News found police officers stationed along the road, pulling over people speeding, and those who didn’t stop at crosswalks.

Two people were killed, just three days apart, in two separate fatal pedestrian crashes, both on Chicopee Street. The first, Monday night. Police said 68-year-old William Matteson was hit and killed. The alleged driver of the vehicle, 42-year-old Benjamin Goraj of Chicopee, stayed at the scene and was arrested on charges including motor vehicle homicide while operating under the influence.

Just two nights later, a 62-year-old man was severely injured in a hit and run, and later died in the hospital. That crash is still under investigation.

Since those two crashes, Western Mass News has spoken with multiple residents of Chicopee Street who said speeding is a big issue. So, we decided to find out for ourselves.

The speed limit one portion of Chicopee Street is 25 mph. While Western Mass News was sitting with two officers, they pulled over three cars, two for speeding, and another, a person who didn’t stop for a pedestrian, in the same crosswalk where the second person was killed Wednesday night.

Chicopee Police told Western Mass News this year on Chicopee Street alone, officers handed out 288 citations.

Western Mass News also spoke with the manager of Jenrose Liquors, a store right across from where the second pedestrian crash took place. He told Western Mass News there needs to be flashing lights, or something that alerts drivers to the cross walk, as it can be hard to see when it’s dark out.

Western Mass News asked the mayor if there are any plans to do that, and he said they are working with police on a possible solution.

We asked the Hampden District Attorney’s Office for an update on the second crash, but they said there is no new information at this time.