Efforts underway to make Hadley crosswalk safer after October hit-and-run

Efforts underway to make Hadley crosswalk safer after October hit-and-run
Updated: Jan. 20, 2023 at 5:55 PM EST
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HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The suspect involved in the hit-and-run of a 13-year-old boy in October has not yet been found and now, we are getting answers on what is being done to improve the crosswalk where it happened.

The incident left the teen seriously injured. The vehicle fled the scene and investigators are still searching for a suspect three months later.

“This is something that has hit close to home for us, not just because it’s a Hadley situation, but because of the fact that a young boy was struck,” said Hadley Police Chief Mike Mason.

Mason spoke during a press conference on Friday as investigators from the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office provided an update on the hit-and-run suspect and showed new surveillance photos of the van in question.

“The town of Hadley, the MassDOT, as well as Senator Comerford’s office and State Rep. Dan Carey’s office have actually met this past week to discuss how to make that area safer,” Mason noted.

Mason also shared what is now being done to improve safety measures at the crosswalk where the boy was hit, which is near his school, Hopkins Academy.

“We absolutely do not want something like this to happen again…The MassDOT has actually already taken steps to try to make the area safer…changing the crosswalk into more of a high visibility crosswalk and the town of Hadley has made several requests to the state to try to add some safety measures,” Mason explained.

He told us some of those requests include marking the area as a school zone since it currently is not and possibly adding an early warning light near the West Street intersection, so drivers can see when the HAWK system is activated. Meanwhile, Northwestern First Assistant District Attorney Steve Gagne shared this message for the driver of the van.

“It’s never too late to do the right thing. As we saw that morning, conditions and visibility were not good,” Gagne said.

We have also learned that Hadley Police is working with MassDOT to try and put together a public forum to discuss the situation alongside students from Hopkins Academy, where the young boy attends school.