In Watertown, tow-truck driver hits woman, who later dies; man with woman stabs driver repeatedly

NBC Boston reports on the incident at Galen and Watertown streets.

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Work Near There

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The man who stabbed the driver was her son. Very sad situation

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100% support the woman’s son

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100% support the deceased woman’s son. This is what needs to happen and the only way to stop reckless endangerment by thoughtless drivers. Our cities can calm traffic and enforce rules but they’ve left it to people. I sincerely hope everyone that gets behind the wheel drives with these consequences in mind. When they do we’ll be safe.

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So if you get murdered

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So if you get murdered because you didn't see a jaywalker, or couldn't stop in time, we should just say "eyy, he had it coming to him?"

What happened to this woman is tragic, and I'm not trying to downplay that. But put yourself in the shoes of the driver - you're minding your own business, following the rules of the road and all of a sudden a person darts out in front of you, and the next thing you know, you're on the sidewalk bleeding to death. Sound fair to you?

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I'm 63. And I can dart

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I'm 63. And I can dart pretty fucking fast.

How long have you been an ageist?

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The report says that the

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The report says that the woman killed was in her"late 60s."

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Then the pedestrian was

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Then the pedestrian was crossing on a green light and you already looked in that direction and saw no cars coming, hypothetically.
But seriously, people claiming the stabber was justified seem absurd to me.If my daughter (god forbid) drowns at her swim lesson tomorrow, should I be able to stab the lifeguard? I grew up in a place where this logic was accepted, its not pretty. If you want to live like that, I'm sure the bloods and crips are accepting new members. Of course, if the driver did this maliciously, that's a entirely different story.

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Please demonstrate for the class

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Where did she say that stabbing is okay?

The point is clearly that excuses for running over old ladies in congested places with lots of crosswalks is not okay and there needs to be some penalty for doing so.

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So are you saying stabbing a driver is ok if he hits someone?

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Good. God.

Alternatively, if you are driving safely and do hit someone in an area with numerous crosswalks, it may be because:

1. If the person walks right in front of your vehicle, in a crosswalk, and you do not have time to stop (i.e. person on phone, not paying attention, et. al) and thus hit that person.

2. If the person is in your vehicle's blind spot and you hit that person.

3. If a person is in a crosswalk, you stop your vehicle, and then someone else rear ends you and pushes you into the said person.

So, in these instances, nothing should happen to you. In fact, even if you do hit and/or kill someone as a driver and even if you were not driving safely, no one should stab you and/or assault you. The legal system will handle the situation.

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No

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So are you saying stabbing a driver is ok if he hits someone?

No. You said that.

Shouldn't you be running interference for a certain judge right now?

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So if someone

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Decided to run over the moron cycling through the tunnel the other night, that’s cool? Or do you just hate drivers.

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Oh yeah.

That will really ensure that drivers stop to help when there's an accident.

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I always hated crossing there

I always hated crossing there when I lived in Watertown. People drive very fast, nobody stops before taking the right on red, and the walk light lasts approximately four milliseconds.

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Do you realize that

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you're describing every crosswalk in Massachusetts?

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Agreed

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100% agreed - I used to work 5 minutes from there and crossed at least twice a day going to and from the bus for years. I was almost hit several times, as it was nearly impossible to avoid cars making right turns on red as a pedestrian. The crosswalk light is nowhere near long enough, and (at least in 2013) would take so long to change during the morning commute, pedestrians would be forced to cross against the light.

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Ethics case study

The man who only tried to kill someone will receive a heavier punishment than the man who succeeded in killing someone.

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The man who intentionally tried to kill somebody

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will likely end up getting a tougher sentence than the man who unintentionally killed somebody.

The actions of thebtiq truck driver may have been avoidable. But the actions of the knife wielding man were clearly avoidable. Sorry, but I don't see an ethics problem here.

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Not so fast

First, I'm not going to assume the driver made a completely innocent mistake. Perhaps he did and perhaps he wanted to spook the family and went too far. It's not uncommon for someone to buzz a pedestrian around here instead of slowing down.

Second, if I watched someone kill my mother, I'd probably loose sanity and temporarily be unable to control my actions.

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Innocent mistake?

Or reckless act?

Driving too fast for the conditions is a reckless act.

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It's not uncommon for someone to buzz a pedestrian around here i

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Cite your sources so we know why you are saying "buzzing a pedestrian" is not "uncommon" around here. How many incidents of this can you document?

You think it's bad here? Try crossing a road in a busy city in India.

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So clear?

One is avoidable and the other unavoidable, 100%?

The son was screaming, while on the ground being cuffed, that the tow truck driver "gunned it" at his mother. Did that happen? Was gunning a tow truck at an old lady unavoidable?

I know that I always try to avoid engaging in physical violence, and I'm usually successful at that. But if somebody killed my mother right in front of me, I might also have trouble avoiding it.

The son didn't actually kill the tow truck driver. Was that accidental, or on purpose? Murder avoided?

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Driver is critical.

So, wait and see how it turns out.

In situations where there's a pedestrian/MVA collision, the driver, if it's a bad one, frequently winds up in the hospital because of the stress.

Knifing him didn't help.

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Aw. the poor drivers

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It is so distressing to kill someone while your head is up your ass!

Such horrible consequences for taking a life!

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Seen this driver before

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Seen him use his vehicle to intimidate and scare people out crosswalks.

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Can you prove these

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Can you prove these allegations? Because I can say the same for you and your huffy there sparky.

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"road rage incident" ??

Road rage means you're mad that someone cut you off. Being mad that someone just killed your mother is maybe something else.

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I had that same reaction

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This wasn't road rage. It was rage at someone killing your mother in front of you. Calling it road rage trivializes it.

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Bad Bad...

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...intersection. Worse than Cambridge St by MGH. This is a crime of passion, not some pre meditated crime. Definitely NOT condoning this reaction...but it's understandable as one sees their relative deceased in front of them. If he has priors the penalties will be stiffer.

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Accidents happen

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Accidents happen. Other commenters saying this is a "crime of passion"; etc are ridiculous. Read the article saying witnesses said the driver was saying "I didn't see her, I didn't see her".

Adults shouldn't believe in vigilante justice, it's an immature concept. What if the driver was having a medical emergency that caused the crash? Pull him out and gut him because you are mad?

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Yeah

He killed his mother. If that's not traumatizing to the point of loosing control of basic reasoning, nothing is.

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"accidents happen" is

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"accidents happen" is bullshit. First of all its a crash not an accident. Calling it an accident implies that the driver was not at fault. Almost 100% of crashes are human error.

And "I didn't see her" is a bullshit excuse too. It is the responsibility of the driver to know what is going on around them. If you fail and hit someone you need to suffer serious consequences. If you can't handle that then don't drive. And having a medical emergency? What are the odds of that? Give me a break. If you are prone to medical emergencies then don't operate a 5,000 pound killing machine on city streets. There is no excuse.

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Careful

That kind of language could easily trigger the car apologists here and send them off on a tirade about you hating cars.

Of course they'll totally gloss over the fact that you and others are just advocating for people to not get murdered by cars but whatevs.

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calm down

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I know you are the resident anti-car person here, and flying off the handle about godly pedestrians, heavenly bicycles and devil vehicles is your thing, so your response is not surprising, along with your lackies also commenting.

Maybe this lady walked into the side of a halfway tow truck already halfway by her. Maybe she had a medical emergency causing her to fall into its path, or the driver did. Or, maybe it was just an accident, which happened before devil cars were invented, when a horse and buggy could run you over.

And to your wonderful point about medical emergencies, I don't know if one happened or didn't, and I don't think you do either from the article posted, but they are sometimes - believe it or not - completely out of the blue with no warning signs.

And "Almost 100%" is a bullshit stat, while we're disproving your vitriol against devil drivers.

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But we don’t know what happened

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Yes, Kinopio is blowing smoke at this point, but until all the facts are released, we know nothing.

I’m not ready to crucify or praise the tow truck driver. The son, on the other hand, took a knife and stabbed the guy. That’s really, really bad.

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Agree

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The dominant mentality driving is full focus on making your trip take 24 minutes not 27. I see people only caring about getting through the next light or getting past the car slowing down. And then, well, “accidents happen”. And people injured or ran off the road are supposed to accept that (see: Walsh, Marty).
When driving a car on city streets your prime responsibility is for the safety of people around you. I drive and I know when I’m not on the highway. It’s a packed urban area where a three mile trip is going to take ten minutes any time. Risking lives to maybe make that thirty seconds quicker is insane. But that’s what people do.

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A hundred years ago hardly anyone could

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tell the time accurately to the nearest minute. Today we all act like getting there a few seconds after the hour means we're "late".

I have to be a passenger with one of my clients on a regular basis. He's that guy who drives an enormous pick-up truck, tailgates you with it, creeps into your path while he's waiting to turn, and honks at you if you have the nerve to make a left while he's behind you. And I'm sitting there cringing, thinking, "Dude, we're on target to be half an hour early, what is your problem?"

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Uh...

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I dunno what planet you're on, but on mine an event can be an accident, and yet someone can still be responsible for causing it.

It's called "intent".

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Accident?

Collisions happen more frequently when people do not drive responsibly.

FTFY

Would you have made this comment if the tow truck operator harmed the guy's mother any other way or would he be a hero to you? Had the guy just "made a mistake" while breaking into a home rather than failing to yield right of way?

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Crime and punishment

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What an awful situation. It is interesting the commenters here are hashing out debates that formed our criminal common law over centuries of evolution. To what extent should we punish intent to kill even if it doesn't result in death? How shall we punish those who, perhaps with the best intentions, killed merely because of carelessness? Should we mitigate punishment for those in the height of passion? How close does the relation have to be and how bad the situation to mitigate punishment for retaliation?

There are no good ends here, just choices between less bad ones.

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GTA?

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GFY.

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Stabbing a Driver

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Anyone who believes that the appropriate response to a traffic accident is attempted murder --- you can not be "living in a civil society" -- you've been playing too many video games or watching to many movies

In the real world accidents happen -- the driver might have had a momentary loss of focus or was trying to avoid a wild turkey. As far as I know the driver did the correct thing after the accident.

It is most unfortunate indeed that the closest witness to the accident was in fact the victim's son. That in no way absolves him of the attempt to express his loss by killing someone else.

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The son had a "momentary gain of focus"

When he saw his mother slaughtered by a driver who has the absolute responsibility to not run people down in the street.

I am sofa king tired of this "but I looked away for a moment" bullshit enabling of horrendous driving and deadly bad habits.

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But unless you know something

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But unless you know something that hasn't been reported we don't know enough to say the driver was driving recklessly like that.

You might think it's highly unlikely that it's not his fault, and that's fine. But that's different than us knowing.

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Here she goes again..

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Let us chat about using rhetoric such as the word "slaughtered"

Are you really that angry and/or that dense? Oh, I get it. I had forgot that you do not acknowledge accidents never happen, especially when a car is involved in an accident where a cyclist and/or pedestrian gets hit or hurt.

It must be wonderful to go through your life pointing your tiny judgemental finger at folks who are not as perfect as you are and never make a mistake in judgement. How about you stop with the flaming rhetoric and get some help for your anger issues (as I had mentioned to you before)? 'Cause I am "sofa king" tired of your bullshit.

You know what they say about karma? Here we have Swrils who has a bad day posting on UHUB and is driving with a heavy foot and hits someone in a crosswalk. That person's relative sees the accident, pulls Swrils out the car, and stabs her repeatedly. Sweet poetic justice?

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In your haste to heap opprobium...

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Wow dude. You really have an entire porcupine up your ass about Swirlygirl, don't you? You're hardly one to talk about "flaming rhetoric" here. In fact you're so out of control that you even wrote this gem:

I had forgot that you do not acknowledge accidents never happen

In fact, I also don't acknowledge that accidents never happen. Wanna try to go there with me too?

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Here you go again

Speaking of flaming rhetoric, you've shown up with your usual victim blaming and pontificating carefully worded scenarios to absolve the motorist of any and all fault and brush it off as an accident.

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Three victims

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The guy who did the stabbing was also a victim.

He just reacted badly and shared the victimization with the driver who killed his mother.

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If they want a conviction here...

...they had better pick a jury of entirely truck drivers, or let the son plea it down to a manslaughter charge. Clearly, the injuries were sufficiently bad that providing medical attention to the lady was out of the question -- who wouldn't fly into a rage after seeing their mother squashed right before their eyes?

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He didn't punch the driver.

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He didn't punch the driver. He pulled out a knife and started stabbing. That's a whole different level of violence.

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According to the Globe

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He did punch the driver. Then he stabbed him. Even twisted the knife.

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It might be nice

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...if our system provided for some remedy for pedestrian fatalities in the gray area between "stabbing on the spot" and "jack shit", but I can't even guess what that might be.

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Note to Watertown and Newton Police . .

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Not every driver has GPS at their fingertips. When you've closed off a major intersection and are diverting traffic away from it, you need more than just officers waving motorists to detour away. You need to show HOW and WHERE to detour. So the diverted drivers don't end up back in a nearby neighborhood wondering where the F they are and how the F to get out and continue on via some alternate artery. (Love from somewhere in Nonantum this afternoon.)

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Sick story

How do you make it to a Top 10 TV market and not ask or report on whether or not the lady was in a crosswalk, and if it was a signaled crosswalk, whether or not she had the signal?

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I drive that at least twice a week

The actual crosswalk light is too short for anyone but a trained athlete to cross.

So pedestrians "go for it" when they think they can, hoping that the lane with the green arrow doesn't use their "right of way."

This time the vehicle was a truck, and he was almost certainly too high to see her.

The driver and the son are both in hospital. And it's likely they'll have different versions, a la Rashomon. Without a intersection camera, it's unlikely we'll ever find out what really happened.

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Channel 5 has footage

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from a bystander from after the hit until just before the stabbing, (not shown).

It did not appear that the incident took place in an area with a crosswalk or near a signal.

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Stabbing 5 times never appropriate. Registry Police needed?

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I only go to Watertown for Russo's Market (delicious) so can't comment on that specific intersection but the accident sounded gruesome. Any time a truck drives over a human, especially an elderly woman, results won't be good but unless it was clearly intentional there is no defense for the son stabbing the driver five times. Even if it was intentional by the tow truck driver, the stabber might win a few jurors out of sympathy but judge will instruct that it was unlawful. I doubt the "heat of the moment defense" applies here. Another reminder that there is no such thing as a routine call.

I'm strongly against adding new layers of government but it might be time to restore a 351 member Registry Police or special State Police Troop assigned strictly to traffic enforcement. I use 351 for the number of cities and towns in the state but obviously several small towns in Western MA could be covered by one Registry Inspector and Boston would need several. Relatively inexpensive and the old Registry Police (merged with State Police in 1992) generated more revenue than they were paid. It takes a certain type of cop who is interested in what we call "Chapter 90" (Motor Vehicle Law), most can't be bothered unless a blatant violation occurs in front of them.

Even before the scandals, the State Police were running one Trooper on the desk, two on the road (very dangerous staffing levels) and the locals are taking calls to homes and businesses. No traffic enforcement. Also get the insurance lobbyists out of the action, many police refuse to issue fines knowing some insurance executive is making millions off the surcharges.

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Thanks for that

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Not wanting to give fines for bad driving has certainly encouraged our local drivers to do the right thing at all times

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Not to generalize about all tow truck drivers...

But many seem to feel as they own the roads here in the city. Running stop signs, red lights, stopped school buses, tailgating, etc... I often find myself shaking my head when I see them nearby... my findings are not scientific...

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Robert's Towing

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Completely agree with this comment. Not scientific by any means, but tow truck drivers are the WORST. Awful drivers that bully other cars (and apparently pedestrians?). Robert's Towing specifically is a very corrupt organization and whip around from parking lot to parking lot looking to make a quick $130 off anyone that dares to leave a car without a Robert's Towing sticker in one of the parking lots on their "turf" in the Allston/Brighton area.

I probably wouldn't have stabbed the dude, because I'm not someone who walks around armed with a knife. BUT I probably would have wanted to bring him harm in some way, and can completely see myself totally losing control in an emotional rage if I watched him run over and instantly kill someone I loved.

Awful situation all around.

F--- tow drivers.

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Maybe great for you

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Not so great for the owners of the cars they damage in the process of towing.

It was a long time ago, long enough that I had forgotten about it, but I'm pretty sure they're the ones who got my car once. It had dual exhaust with the outlets at the outer corners of the rear bumper. When I picked the car up, one of the tips was bent inward all the way to the middle of the bumper because they put the straps in the wrong place. They flatly denied causing the damage and claimed it was already like that. I was ready to firebomb their office. Fuck Robert's in general, but especially that driver. I hope somebody with a shorter fuse than myself got some sort of revenge for the rest of us.

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Anecdotal Confirmation

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I do side work near D&G Towing in Allston, and they drive like maniacal assholes.

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Write-off

You think they can write off accidents as business development?

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Don't know

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I don't know how often they actually wind up in "accidents" either, but I'd wager a guess that the close relationship between police and tow companies might have something to do with their cavalier attitudes towards road rules.

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I've watched as my

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I've watched as my significant other was nearly run over (or would have been punted into busy traffic if contact was made just right) by a tow-truck driver pulling out of an alley into a sidewalk at 20mph. Some of these drivers do not give a shit, and they feel like they have special privileges to abuse rules of the road/parking regulations because they have flashing lights on top of their trucks.

Heaven forbid that something worse happened that night than a mere close call. I would have gone ham on that driver.

Does the city require specific training/certification for tow-truck drivers? Perhaps it should.

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Johnny Ginsu

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Is going to jail . It was an accident, he is going to prison . Guaranteed there is cameras in area . We will see the crime . I don’t need to view the fatality , nothing but a bloodbath.

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there are videos

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The first one shows the location of the truck where the accident happened (truck is stopped where woman was hit) - they were crossing in the middle of the street, not at a crosswalk. Not victim blaming - I jay walk all the time but there are some intersections that should only be crossed at the crosswalk with the light/signal and this is one of them. Witness also says the son "ran back" from the other side of the street meaning he wasn't with his mother when it happened - suggests he initiated the crossing there. Other videos talking to her neighbors indicated she used a walker and the stability canes with 4 additional posts (compared to a single stick cane) so she wasn't very spry. Second video shows the son punching/attacking driver in the cab, falling out (losing the fight), then pulling the knife. The video is stopped at this point by ch 7 but cell video by witness has the whole thing.

https://whdh.com/news/da-woman-fatally-struck-by-tow-truck-in-watertown-...

https://whdh.com/news/no-bail-for-man-accused-of-stabbing-tow-truck-driv...

Not a fan of the tow drivers around town but it genuinely appears to be bad judgement by the pedestrians (not in crosswalk) and the driver (stop when humans appear in front of your truck). I understand wanting to punch the guy that hit your mom but not pulling a knife (having a knife!!) and prison stabbing him 5 times instead of checking on your mom or calling 911. Likely the driver could get off and the son ends up in Bridgewater - I'm thinking this isn't his first stabbing. Hopefully the driver is charged or something - professional drivers should be held to a higher standard than us civilians.

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stabbing aside

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Stabbing aside, that is a dangerous intersection. Nearly every light cycle has people running a red, literally everyone is on their cell phone and driving recklessly. Any traffic officer could get his monthly quota in about an hour here. Ironically, its rarely patrolled. The rest of the city? cops everywhere.

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