New England in brief

Motorcyclist, 54, killed in tunnel crash

August 19, 2008
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A 54-year-old woman was killed early yesterday in a motorcycle crash in the Thomas P. O'Neill Tunnel in Boston, State Police said. The woman was driving north on a 2007 Harley Davidson when her motorcycle struck the wall on the right side as she took Exit 26 toward Storrow Drive, according to State Police. The collision caused the woman to strike the handrail on top of the wall, police said. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Her name was being withheld pending notification of her family.

Malden man pleads not guilty in shooting
A Malden man was arraigned yesterday morning on charges that he shot and seriously injured a man in a parking lot on Washington Street in Boston Sunday morning, according to the Suffolk County district attorney's office. Jarri L. Cash, 26, was held on $25,000 bail after he pleaded not guilty in Boston Municipal Court to unlawful possession of a firearm and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury. The victim, a Boston resident, remains in critical condition at an area hospital, according to the DA's office.

Toddler wanders onto busy street
A toddler wandered away from home and into a busy West Roxbury street on his tricycle yesterday morning, terrifying his mother and alarming a postal worker who saw the child riding on the road, police said yesterday. The 3-year-old boy's misadventure began just before 11 when his mother took a phone call. She left her son with his 7-year-old brother and as she was distracted, the toddler rode away from his Chellman Street home. He got as far as 750 VFW Parkway, near Lyall Street, when the postal worker flagged down a passing ambulance, police said. Officers quickly arrived and took the child to Faulkner Hospital, where doctors found the boy to be in good condition. Police later found his mother searching frantically for the child near her home, police said. The woman, whose name was not released, was not charged but officers called the Department of Social Services because they are obligated to do so in cases of lost children, said police spokesman David Estrada.

State reports 1st mosquito sample of EEE
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has confirmed the first positive mosquito sample of eastern equine encephalitis and more samples of West Nile virus in birds and mosquitoes. No human cases have been reported. There were six human cases of West Nile last year and none of EEE. But EEE was found in mosquitoes in Carver. West Nile has been found in crows in Barnstable, Belchertown, Hingham, Plymouth, and Worcester. The virus also has been found in mosquitoes in Boston, Brookline, Brockton, Dartmouth, Dedham, Medford, Needham, Weymouth, and Worcester. (AP)

SJC orders new trial in Pittsfield killing
Prosecutors did not give an adequate race-neutral explanation when they removed the only black person in the jury pool in a 2005 Pittsfield murder case, the state's highest court ruled yesterday, reversing the defendant's second-degree murder conviction in a racially charged case. Tyson J. Benoit, who is black, was convicted of killing Anthony Hopkins, who is white, on May 30, 2005. Benoit was 17; Hopkins was 18. During jury selection, prosecutors used a peremptory challenge to remove a woman who was the only black person left in the jury pool. Benoit's lawyers said the removal of the juror was invalid because the prosecutor had not given adequate reasons for it. The majority of the court agreed.

Curbs on shellfish harvesting are eased
The Division of Marine Fisheries announced a partial conditional opening yesterday of several areas closed to shellfish harvesting since May, according to a statement by Paul J. Diodati, the agency's director. At sunrise tomorrow, areas including beaches in Marblehead, Saugus, and Revere will reopen to conditional harvesting of soft-shell clams, razor clams, and blue mussels, which no longer contain harmful levels of biotoxins called paralytic shellfish poison, Diodati said. The areas will remain closed to harvesting any other kinds of shellfish or carnivorous snails except the adductor of the sea scallop, Diodati said.

Part-time officer still in critical condition
A part-time Duxbury police officer who was struck by a car Saturday while directing Marshfield Fair traffic was still in critical condition last night at Brigham and Women's Hospital, hospital spokesman Peter Brown said. Officer Mel Dyer was hit by a sedan near the corner of Main and South River streets. Charges are pending against the car's driver.

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