Memorial grows for beloved Watertown educator as police search for hit-and-run driver

SOMERVILLE, MASS. (WHDH) - A memorial continued to grow Sunday night near the spot in Somerville where police say a longtime Watertown school administrator was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver on Friday.

Officers responding to a reported hit-and-run in the area of Powder House Boulevard and Hardan Road about 7:16 p.m. took two women to the hospital, where Allison Donovan, 40, of Somerville, was pronounced dead, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s Office.

Investigators say Donovan and her friend were in the crosswalk when a pickup truck hit them and fled the scene.

“That’s something I’ll never understand, you hit somebody and you don’t check them out and see if you can help,” said Bob Resminnie, who witnessed the crash. “They tried so hard to keep her alive.”

In a statement, Watertown Public Schools said Donovan was a longtime educator and administrator in the district.

“It is with great sadness that we learned of the unexpected death of Allison Donovan. Ms. Donovan was a long time educator and administrator in the Watertown Public Schools who was loved by students and staff,” the statement read. “Most recently, she served in the role of K-8 LIteracy and Title 1 Coordinator.  She brought invaluable knowledge, insights, compassion, and dedication to the district and was passionate about providing students with the best education possible. She will be greatly missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends at this most difficult time.”

Melrose superintendent Cyndy Taymore also expressed her sadness for the loss of Donovan, who served as the principal of Lincoln Elementary School from 2015 to 2017.

“Our administration, faculty and staff were saddened to hear about the sudden and senseless death of Allison,” she said in a statement. “On behalf of the entire Melrose Public Schools community, I wish to extend my most heartfelt condolences to her family, friends and colleagues in Watertown.”

Neighbors who live near Powderhouse Boulevard say this isn’t the first time they’ve seen someone killed on the street.

“This is the third time we’ve seen this in the last eight years,” Resminnie said.

Now, the residents want to see changes to the area.

“We want physical traffic calming: bump outs, speed bumps, tables,” one person said. “Signs are great, crosswalks are great, but all of the data suggests that the way to really get drivers to slow down is to physically change the street.”

Somerville police are still searching for the driver of a dark-colored, late-model, full-size pickup truck, and the truck is believed to have struck the pedestrians in the crosswalk, officials say.

The vehicle is believed to have sustained front-end damage to the left side, according to officials.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 617-625-1600 ext. 7250 or 7254. Tips can also be sent anonymously by texting 617spd to TIP411.

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