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Surprised process has taken so long, friend says

UPDATED, Nov. 5: The 68-year-old Arlington driver faces arraignment in the death of a 77-year-old Cambridge woman one year to the day after the collision at Mass. Ave. and Orvis Road in East Arlington.

Paul S. Giragosian has been charged with motor-vehicular homicide by negligent operation, following what a Nov. 4 news release said was a thorough investigation by Arlington police. About 10 p.m. last Dec. 19, 2013, Elba Ortiz-Delgado, known as "Lucy," of North Cambridge, was pushing a cart in a crosswalk near Sabatino's and was struck by a car driven by Giragosian. The victim was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where she later died.

Giragosian received a summons to appear in Cambridge District Court for arraignment Dec. 19.

"I was surprised that it took the DA’s office so long to come to a decision regarding charges that might be brought against Mr. Giragosian," said Juliet Blackett, who was a friend of Ortiz-Delgado at the North Cambridge apartments.

Because the victim has no family, Blackett arranged for cremation at her own expense earlier this year. She said her attempts to locate her family here and in Puerto Rico have come up empty.

"I now understand that in addition to the Arlington police investigation, the State Police were involved since Mass. Ave. is a state road," she wrote. "I also understand that for some reason the DA’s office had to obtain a full autopsy report on my friend in addition to the actual death certificate. (I read recently that the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office is considerably backed up on issuing autopsy reports, which may account for the delay.)  

'Very frustrating'

"It has been very frustrating to wait nearly a full year since my friend’s death for charges to brought, but I am glad there is now a complete picture and analysis of what occurred" that night.

At the time, Giragosian was cited for operating without a license and failure to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk, but the case remained under investigation for months.

The investigation included a State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section report, which came back in October. The report, combined with the Arlington Police Department investigation, resulted in the allegations against Giragosian.

Arlington police investigators worked with the office of Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan to investigate and ultimately charge Giragosian with motor-vehicular homicide.

"This was a heart-breaking case, involving the tragic loss of life of an elderly woman who was trying to cross the street in a crosswalk," Chief Frederick Ryan said in the release.

Ortiz-Delgado's ashes have not been interred. Blackett said she decided to keep them until the case involving Giragosian is decided.

"Lucy was born in Puerto Rico into a large Catholic family, and I am sure that she would want to be laid to rest according to the rites of the Catholic Church," she said. "Cremation is now accepted by the church, but a local priest advised me that scattering remains is not encouraged, so I would like to see her buried in a cemetery with the appropriate Catholic rites."

Blackett said she would write a Friend of Victim statement at some point in the legal process. She said: "I am glad to do so since all efforts to locate any of Lucy’s living relatives have failed, and it is important that the court and defendant understand what a truly kind person she was, and despite some serious physical issues and an increasing sense of isolation from society, she bore her problems with grace and admirable lack of self pity."


Dec. 21, 2013: Further charge possible in death at long Mass. Ave. crosswalk
Jan. 8, 2014: Lucy: ‘She was no longer with us in this world’
Feb. 25, 2014: Lucy: A friend seeks a proper end
July 9, 2014: No-contest plea to lesser charge in Mass. Ave. death

This story was published Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, and updated the next day.