Saturday, 2:15 PM
Good Samaritan dies after being struck by State Police cruiser in Phillipston
By John R. Ellement, Globe Staff
A 20-year-old Petersham man died after jumping off an overpass and then getting struck by a State police cruiser as both were trying to help a woman trapped inside a crashed car on Route 2 Wednesday night in Phillipston, authorities said.
The man was identified by Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr.’s office as Andrew S. Castonguay of Briggs Road in the central Massachusetts town.
Castonguay was one of four people who rushed to assist a woman who had spun out and rolled over while driving eastbound on Route 2 around 8:30 p.m. While near the car, a second vehicle went into a skid on the icy road, and the rescuers scrambled for safety. Three stepped away towards a guardrail while Castonguay leaped over the fence, falling some 30 feet to Route 2A below.
Moments after Castonguay landed, Trooper Mical O’Brien, who was responding to crash with emergency lights activated, spotted him lying in the road and tried to swerve out of the way. But, Early’s office said, “the cruiser did hit Castonguay.’’
Castonguay was rushed to Athol Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead around 9:30 p.m.
In a telephone interview, Castonguay's grieving father said he was not surprised his son went out of his way to help a total stranger. James Castonguay said his son, who worked at a Friendly’s restaurant in Greenfield, was driving home from his girlfriend’s home in Royalston.
“That’s the way he was raised – if someone is hurt, you stop and try to help,’’ he said.
Castonguay said he was not a “spiteful or hateful man’’ but said he was upset that the trooper had not come and expressed his sorry to the family of the man he ran over.
“I’m very, very upset that the trooper who killed my son did not come to my house and say he’s sorry,’’ Castonguay said. “What kind of a human being would do that to somebody and not go to the family?’’
State Police assigned to Early’s office are investigating the fatality. State Police referred all questions to the prosecutor’s office.
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