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Wellesley doctor killed in bicycle accident, driver charged

Posted by Sarah Thomas  March 31, 2011 11:50 AM

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A Wellesley doctor was struck and killed by a car while riding his bicycle in Millis Wednesday and the woman driving the car is being charged with motor vehicle homicide, according to police.

Stanley Sabin, 74, medical director at the Metro West Free Medical Program, was traveling north on Route 115 in Millis near the Sherborn line when he was hit by a Nissan Sentra driven by 62-year-old Andrea Daley of Holliston, according to Millis police Officer John Shearns.

"Sabin was transported to Milford Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival," Shearns said.

The crash happened at 1:07 p.m.

Shearns said that Daley will be charged with one count of motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation. She will be arraigned in Wrentham District Court at a later date.

Police Chief Peter McGowan said that speed, alcohol or drugs were not believed to be factors in the case.

McGowan said Sabin was wearing a helmet but suffered severe head injuries.

The chief said the crash is still being investigated.

Sabin was the retired chief of medicine and director of pulmonary medicine at MetroWest Medical Center.

Gary Hirsch, president of the MetroWest Free Medical Program, said Sabin joined the free health program a few years ago and was named medical director last year.

Founded in 2004, the program has provided medical care to over 5,000 uninsured and underinsured residents of the MetroWest area. It has a location in Framingham, and one at Congregation Beth El of the Sudbury River Valley, where it operates a free walk-in clinic on Tuesday nights.

"Stan was a really wonderful person whose enthusiasm was infectious," Hirsch said. "He was so thankful for the opportunity to care for patients' needs without having to worry about billing. He did such a wonderful job."

"Replacing him will be a real challenge," Hirsch said. "We're going to miss him terribly."

Hirsch said that Sabin had recently been awarded a Health Care Leadership Award from the MetroWest Community Health Care Foundation. Hirsch also said he and his colleagues at the program were still thinking of the best way to memorialize Sabin.

Martin Cohen, president of the health care foundation, said that the award was presented last Thursday.

"We're so glad that we did it last week, and that his family was able to see it given to him," Cohen said. "Just yesterday I got a very nice letter from him thanking him for the honor."

Cohen said that Sabin was nominated both by the MetroWest Free Medical Program and by the Natick Visiting Nurse Association, where Sabin served as the volunteer medical director.

"Both groups came together to nominate him, and I knew him from his work at MetroWest Medical," Cohen said. "The committee was moved that he was using his so-called 'retirement' to give back to the community, and by his love of medicine and love for helping patients."

Judith Boyko, chief executive officer of the visiting nurse association, said that finding a replacement for Sabin will be hard.

"He did so much for us - in addition to being our volunteer medical director, he was also a member of the advisory committee for one of our programs, MetroWest Meds, which provides prescription medication to people who can't afford it," Boyko said. "It's difficult for nonprofits to find people of Dr. Sabin's caliber willing to volunteer their time."

Boyko said that Sabin also offered a weekly pulmonary clinic at the Bedford Veterans Administration Hospital, and had been cited by Boston University School of Medicine for his volunteer work with medical students.

Boyko said she had considered Sabin a friend for many years.

"I can't believe he's gone. He was one of those vanishing breeds of doctors that really care for their patients as people, in every sense of the word," Boyko said. "He will be missed."

Sabin's wife, Susan, said that his funeral will take place Friday morning at 11 a.m. at the Levine Chapel on Harvard Street in Brookline. She described her life with her husband as "a 56-year love affair."

"Stan was uniquely and superbly righteous," Sabin said. "He acted as though your needs were the most important thing in the world. We are incredibly grateful to have had him in our lives."

Sarah Thomas can be reached at sarah.m.thomas@gmail.com.

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