EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


October 11, 2012

Haverhill probe continues 5 months after fatal crash

No decision from police yet on charges

HAVERHILL — It has been nearly five months since an 81-year-old man walking across Water Street was hit by a car and killed, but the crash remains under investigation by state police.

They and the Essex County District Attorney’s office have not yet decided whether to bring charges against the driver, an Andover man whose name police are not releasing.

Carrie Kimball-Monahan, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s office, said yesterday that investigators received the final report on the autopsy from the medical examiner last week. She would not comment on the results of the autopsy, but did say the investigation is still open.

Police said Stanley Paszko, 81, of Haverhill was crossing the street on May 31 to return to his house when he was struck by a 2007 Hyundai Sonata. Paszko was taken to Merrimack Valley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Kimball-Monahan said it is normal for a crash to be under investigation this long.

“It’s actually not that long when you think about how many accidents are investigated,” she said. ”It’s not just sitting in a file. It is actively being investigated. There are a lot of moving parts.”

She said that the crash is primarily being investigated by the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section of the Massachusetts State Police. They recreate the entire collision, taking into account factors such as weather, sun position and whether the victim was in a crosswalk. Haverhill police assisted in reconstructing the accident, she said.

“It’s very time consuming,” Kimball-Monahan said. “There has to be a careful analysis of all those factors and more so that it can be determined exactly what happened.”

Kimball-Monahan also noted that many motor vehicle crashes occur in the region. That, combined with several police departments being short staffed, can lead to delays in investigations, she said.

She said it was impossible to predict when the results of the investigation will be released.

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