Acushnet man dies after being struck by car in New Bedford

Jim Hughes | WPRI-TV

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — An Acushnet man died Thursday evening after he was struck by a vehicle in New Bedford, city police said.

According to New Bedford Lt. Amos Melo, the 57-year-old was crossing Cove Street at about 5:30 p.m. when he was struck.

The man was rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital, where he died.

Robert Rapoza, a friend of the victim, had been waiting inside a Chinese restaurant for the victim and other friends to arrive.

“We were all supposed to come have dinner together,” Rapoza said, getting emotional at the thought that the group’s bi-weekly dinners at Mee Hong would never be the same. “We won’t have dinner anymore.”

Rapoza said he has been friends with the victim, whose name has not been released by police, for 30 years. He said the man was crossing the street with his sister and another friend. The sister came running inside when her brother was struck by the car.

“When we got outside, he was laying there…bleeding. But we didn’t think he died,” Rapoza said.

The owner of Mee Hong, Priscilla Mark, said she had also known the victim for decades;  he was a regular. She called the crash “very disturbing.”

She said that cars often speed around the corner without stopping for pedestrians, and customers are often nervous.

“My nephew got hit New Year’s Eve a couple years ago, and they finally put a crosswalk up. It’s still not helping,” Mark said.

The Bristol County District Attorney’s office sent a State Police trooper to conduct accident reconstruction on the scene Thursday evening. The silver sedan had a shattered, circular depression in the windshield, while a single sneaker and a blue cap lay on the ground nearby.

Police haven’t yet said whether or not the victim was in the crosswalk.

Lt. Melo said the New Bedford woman who was driving the car is cooperating with the police. No charges have been filed, but the crash remains under investigation.