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At trial, bystander offers harrowing account of trying to save toddler after South Boston crash

“I kept talking to Colin telling him that we loved him and he needed to fight."

Charlene Casey during her arraignment on a motor vehicle homicide charge in December 2019. Lane Turner/Globe Staff

More than four years after a chain-reaction crash killed a toddler in South Boston, bystanders took to the stand this week to recount the experiences they had that day. 

Appearing before a Suffolk Superior Court jury Wednesday, Mary Kate Shea said she was in her car when she heard the collision and screams, according to The Boston Globe

Shea found Colin McGrath, the toddler killed in the crash, not breathing in his nanny’s arms. She said she then began to administer CPR. 

“I kept talking to Colin telling him that we loved him and he needed to fight,” she said, according to the Globe.


Charlene Casey was charged with motor vehicle homicide in connection with the July 25, 2018, crash that killed Colin and injured his sister and nanny. 

Casey was at a stop sign at the intersection of L Street and East Sixth Street when prosecutors allege she failed to see an oncoming van as she proceeded into the intersection. Casey’s car ended up striking the van, which subsequently lost control and jumped onto the sidewalk, hitting Colin in his stroller. 

Shea said Colin didn’t respond to CPR and she noticed  “his little ears were turning bluish gray,” according to the Globe. Colin’s then-4-year-old sister was seriously injured, but survived.

When paramedics arrived, she gave the nanny, who was not seriously hurt, “a huge hug and told her it wasn’t her fault,” Shea said. 

Another bystander, Edward Baszkiewicz, was walking home from the grocery store when the crash occurred and said he tried to console Colin’s sister.   

“I tried to comfort the girl,” Baszkiewicz said. “I was in a little bit of shock, too. It’s not something that you see every day.”


The trial is set to continue Thursday before Judge Katie Cook Rayburn.


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