Highway worker hit and killed by accused drunk driver in Medford

MEDFORD, MA (WHDH) - A highway worker in a construction zone was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver early Tuesday morning.

The crash happened on the northbound side of I-93 near exit 33 in Medford at around 3 a.m. According to police, 52-year-old Thomas O’Day, of East Bridgewater, was picking up traffic cones after he and his crew from Highway Safety Systems painted lines on the highway when a 31-year-old man from Chelmsford collided with the crew.

State Police believe the driver, James Scoville, was drunk. Scoville was arraigned Tuesday afternoon on charges of motor vehicle homicide while operating under the influence and negligent operation of a vehicle.

Scoville was held on $2,500 bail and was ordered not to drive or consume alcohol. Outside the courthouse, Scoville’s mother told 7News she believes he fell asleep at the wheel.

MassDOT said the work zone safety setup, complete with safety cones and warning signs, was in place when O’Day was hit. A second worker, a 33-year-old Taunton man, was at the back of a company truck when it was also hit. He was injured but is expected to be OK.

In a Facebook post he made Monday night, O’Day had expressed concerns on the job saying there were no police detail, and “things were insane on I-93.”

At Highway Safety Systems in Rockland, where O’Day worked, employees were grieving with each other, saying nothing like this has ever happened. O’Day’s father-in-law Gene Trask said he was a devoted husband and father to three children.

This is the second time this week that a highway worker has been hit by an allegedly impaired driver. On Monday, another man was charged with OUI after he reportedly hit a MassDOT worker just outside the Ted Williams Tunnel.

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