New details emerge into hit-and-run on Route 9 in Hadley

New details emerge into hit-and-run on Route 9 in Hadley
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 10:06 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2023 at 2:12 PM EST
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HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - We’re getting answers on the investigation into the hit-and-run crash in Hadley back in October that left a 13-year-old boy seriously injured.

The student at Hopkins Academy in Hadley was seriously injured when a van hit him while he was crossing a crosswalk on Route 9 in Hadley in October.

“The van is an extended cargo style van with no side windows, except for those on the driver and passenger side doors. The van appears to have a dent or some type of body damage to the passenger side rear corner panel,” said Northwestern First Assistant District Attorney

An investigation has been ongoing for months to find the driver who hit the boy. Western Mass News attended a briefing on Friday where investigators released new information, including details about the van in question.

“It does not appear to be bearing a front license plate that morning. Either it was removed or fell off or perhaps the van is from a state where license plates are not required. Photos of the van allowed investigators to narrow the time range more likely to the years 2003 and 2006,” Gagne added.

Investigators said the van was first seen pulling into and stopping at Big Y in Amherst approximately 45 minutes before the crash. The driver did not exit the van. The van then proceeded to loop onto Route 9 in the University Drive area for about 10 minutes before eventually heading west on Route 9.

“The driver proceeded fairly straight down Route 9 westbound until the scene of the crash. During a portion of this stretch, the van was following by a PVTA bus…Just prior to striking the boy in the crosswalk, the video from the PVTA shows the van swerving abruptly to the left indicating that the driver likely saw the boy in the crosswalk at the very last second,” Gagne explained.

Police said the van then sped away at a high-rate speed after striking the boy. They have already investigated dozens of tips, but are still calling on the public for help.

“Somebody absolutely knows something. We have no doubt about that. It’s just a matter of coming forward whether it’s anonymously or not and doing the right thing,” Gagne said.