Statewide Fatal Crashes in MA, January 2021

Statewide Fatal Crashes in MA, January 2021

Each month in 2021, we plan to post about the fatal crashes in Massachusetts from the previous month, and share any trends that we see. Last month, we took a look at the year 2020 in review. In this post, we’ll look at crashes in MA in January 2021. The information in the chart below is compiled from news reports, and was checked against the MassDOT Crash Portal Dashboard “Fatal Information by Year.” The Google Street View images included below use the address listed in the crash portal.

  • Of the 20 fatal crashes in Massachusetts in January in the MassDOT Crash portal, 5 were people walking.
  • 3 of those 5 crashes were hit & runs.
  • The crash portal does not include names. The names of 2 of the people walking who died have not been made public yet.
  • The name of the person driving was only identified in 1 of the 5 crashes in news articles.

Date1/2/2021, 11:00 PM
Location200 Locust St.

An unidentified man was killed in a hit and run crash on Locust Street in Springfield. There have been no follow up articles that we’ve seen identifying the person who died, or anything about the person that fled the scene. WesternMassNews says the Police Department has located the car and vehicle owner, and expects more from the District Attorney’s office.

Date1/5/2021, 11:30 AM
LocationChelsea St. + 13th St.

Francis McGrath, a 92 year old man, was killed in a hit and run crash on Chelsea Street in Charlestown. The driver dragged him for nearly a mile. The crash location is listed as Chelsea St & 13th (entrance to the Charlestown Navy Yard), while StreetsblogMass reports the Boston Police said it happened even further back at Chelsea St & Terminal St. While there had been speculation that the driver of a large truck was involved, there have been no follow up articles that we’ve seen about the person that left the scene. We spoke to the Boston Herald about the safety issues large vehicles present for people walking/biking, and the increase of drivers speeding during the coronavirus pandemic.

Date1/13/2021, 7:19 PM
Location235 Main St.

Wendy Hibbard was crossing Main Street in Oxford when a driver hit and killed her. Based on Google Maps Street View, a crosswalk across Main Street was made ADA-compliant sometime between October 2018 and October 2019. The street is one lane in each direction with a sidewalk on each side, but it looks to be approximately 50 feet from curb to curb using the measuring tool on Google Maps. According to the MassDOT Road Inventory, Main Street/Rt12 is under MassDOT jurisdiction.

Date1/19/2021, 9:30 PM
Location38 Upland Rd.

District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s office shared on January 25th that Dean Kapsalis, 54 of Hudson, will face additional charges of murder and leaving the scene causing death in connection with striking and killing Henry Tapia on Upland Road in Belmont. Kapsalis was previously arraigned on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a civil rights violation causing injury and leaving the scene causing injury. The Boston Globe reported that “since getting a driver’s license around 1987, Kapsalis has been cited for speeding at least 17 times, was involved in at least 7 surcharge crashes, and had his right to drive suspended at least 6 times, usually for a cluster of traffic violations in a short period of time, according to RMV records.”

Date1/23/2021, 8:42 PM
Location687 Ocean St.

An unidentified 56 year old Marshfield man was hit and killed on Ocean Street in Marshfield. An article from 95.9 WATD quotes a police lieutenant that the “early investigation shows the victim was walking in the roadway along a dark stretch.” The street is one lane in each direction, but there is only a sidewalk on one side of the street.


If you have an update about a community member who was killed in one of these crashes, please contact Brendan so we can update our . WalkBoston has maintained a list each year since 2016, pulling the information from news reports, social media, and from people like you that share the information with us.

Yearly trackers:  |||||

Reminder about the data from the MassDOT portal

DISCLAIMER:  The compilation of data is based on preliminary data we receive from a variety of local sources.  Some of the data may differ slightly from information provided by NHTSA as this dashboard does not use imputation methods.  Information is subject to change when/if updated information becomes available. Data updated daily as reported by police departments.

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