Man dies saving young girl in Whitman
WHITMAN, Mass. (WHDH) -- A man was struck and killed as he apparently tried to save a 4-year-old girl from an oncoming Dodge pick-up truck on Temple Street in Whitman Sunday afternoon.
Witnesses said the 38-year-old man pushed the child out of the way of the oncoming truck. The driver, identified as Richard Brown, 46, of Attleboro, was visibly upset at the scene. Brown’s license was suspended indefinitely by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles on Monday, but he has not been charged.
“I think this guy’s an actual hero because it could have been two people killed,” said Whitman’s fire chief.
Neighbors said the man who was killed was like a father to the girl who was injured.
“We’d just see him out front here and he just seemed like a really decent guy. We’d see him with the little girl,” said Kerri Mullen, a neighbor.
The girl was also struck by the truck and airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital where she is in serious, but stable condition.
“We saw him often pushing her on the stroller -- kind and caring to her,” said one neighbor.
Police said the two were crossing the street when they were hit by a pick-up truck. Authorities said the man is the boyfriend of the girl’s mother. They believe he may have tried to pull the girl out of harm’s way.
“It does appear that he may have in some way tried to shield the girl from the truck,” said Chief Scott Benton of the Whitman Police Department.
“[The driver] made a statement at the scene that he looked up and they were right there -- he didn’t see them -- and then all the sudden they were right there,” said Benton.
Police said they interviewed several witnesses and confiscated the driver’s cell phone to check for the possibility of distracted driving.
“In an investigation like this of course you’re going to try to do everything thorough and do the right thing. That can either help or clear the operator, at least as far as that goes,” said Benton.
Police will decide in the coming days if they will charge the driver.