Car goes through crosswalk at Sabatino's that features flags on both sides.    A car whizzes through the crosswalk at Sabatino's that   features red flags for pedestrians on both sides of Mass. Ave.

The driver cited following the death of 77-year-old Boston woman near longest unsignalized Mass. Ave. crosswalk in East Arlington could face a further charge, police say.

Paul S. Giragosian, 67, of Arlington, was cited in the death of Elba Ortiz-Delgado, 77, of Boston. The charges are operating without a license and failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Police are investigating possible speeding.

The Boston Globe reported Saturday, Dec. 21, that Giragosian has a lengthy driving record.

He has been involved in three crashes in which he was found to be at fault and has been cited for speeding five times, The Globe reported, referring to state records. In 2001, the report said, he was cited for reckless driving in Connecticut. His license expired in June.

Police said they think Giragosian was not intoxicated. He has been cited but not arrested.

APD logoExactly what happened about 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, at the crosswalk near Orvis Road and Sabatino's Italian Kitchen remains to be determined for certain.

Initial police news releases reported the homeless woman pushing a walker with a basket was in the crosswalk. The impact of the collision pushed her eastward, away from the crosswalk.

Some unconfirmed reports say that she may have been walking along Mass. Ave. in the street, not trying to cross Mass. Ave. These reports are claims made in comments following a news story about the incident at Arlington Patch.

A police report in the case has not yet been released. That is usual when more charges may be filed and an investigation continues.

Advocate reports talking to witness

Meanwhile, The Advocate has reported that Wagner Maceo, a delivery driver for Sabatino’s, said he witnessed the accident.  He told the weekly newspaper that he and another driver stopped at the crosswalk to let Ortiz-Delgado pass, but a third driver kept going, striking and badly injuring the woman.

Sorting this out are the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and an officer from the State Police crash-reconstruction unit.

In an email to members Friday, Dec. 20, the East Arlington Livable Streets Coalition (EALS) called the Orvis/Grafton crosswalk "the longest unsignalized Mass. Ave. crosswalk in E. Arlington, perhaps in Greater Boston. It is a notoriously difficult one to cross, especially at night and especially during the winter.

"It has had its share of near misses with some pedestrian crashes involving injuries recorded there.

"The Mass. Ave. Corridor Plan will shorten the length of the crossing significantly with a wider sidewalk in front of the Post Office, bump-outs on both sides and a median refuge island.

"The redesign will reduce the crossing width from the current 72 feet to a two-stage crossing of roughly 30 feet and 19 feet in length. This does not guarantee safe crossing conditions of course, but will make last night's tragedy unlikely to happen again.

"In the meantime, our hearts go out to the friends and family of Ms. Ortiz-Delgado and we await the conclusions of the crash investigation. We also hope the town will do what it can to improve safety at ALL crosswalks along Mass Ave, which could include improved lighting, additional signs, and replacement of the bright yellow crosswalk bollards more quickly after a snow storm."

Work on the Mass. Ave. Corridor project, from Swan Place to Cambridgem is to start next spring.

The Dec. 21 Globe report included interviews with people who were at the scene.

One of them was Maureen Stephens, who told The Globe she arrived just moments after the accident and said Giragosian and his wife were distraught.

Stephens, an Arlington resident who knows the couple, said they told her they never saw the woman. They were driving home from the mall after Christmas shopping, she said.

Police told The Globe they were not sure what brought Ortiz-Delgado to Arlington. But Stephens and other residents said they had often seen the woman walking through the neighborhood, collecting cans for deposit money.

 The last fatal pedestrian accident in Arlington was in April 2002 in the area of Mass. Ave. and Brattle Street, police said.


Word on the Street:
Crosswalk slated for safety improvements


The town's Transportation Advisory Committee lists as the first item on its historical summary about the Mass. Ave. Corridor project two pedestrian fatalities on Mass. Ave. in East Arlington in 1996.

Police said the driver is the former owner of a gun shop, which was once at 10 Park Ave. Police ordered it closed in 2007 after a man committed suicide at the shop earlier that year, the second such case at the shop.


Dec. 19, 2013: First report of the death of the pedestrian


This story was published Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013.