The tragic death of a 56 year- old Chelsea man last week continues to be the subject of a State Police Accident Reconstruction Team investigation.
Chelsea Police are also conducting an investigation.
The officer involved in the accident has been placed on paid administrative leave.
Conflicting reports by alleged eyewitnesses about whether or not the blue lights on the police vehicle were flashing and whether or not the siren was on are being aided by technical data and some video, according to police sources.
Charges of speeding and determinations of what speed the police vehicle was moving at will be determined by the State Police.
According to local Attorney Richard Clayman, State Police Reconstruction Teams are very accurate at making such determinations which are based on the injuries suffered by the dead man, damage to the police vehicle, skid marks on the road, if any, and interviewing with eye-witnesses.
This much is agreed – Burgess stepped onto Broadway in the darkness and the police vehicle couldn’t stop in time to avoid the accident.
Witnesses all said after Burgess was hit there was a loud bang that could be heard from two blocks away. Witnesses also said that the police officer got out of his vehicle and tried to aid Burgess.
Both City Manager Jay Ash and Police Chief Brian Kyes have commented on the issue of speeding public safety vehicles – which the chief said is a major bone of contention with him.
“Our department does everything it can to train our officers about the protocol to use on our city streets when responding to a call. At every level of the training, safety is the main issue. I am especially saddened by this accident,” added Chief Kyes.
Friends and acquaintances of Burgess have been dropping off candles and flowers near to the place where he was hit. The collection of memorial offerings has taken on the look of a small shrine on Broadway between Eleanor and Parker Streets.
Burgess was well known to the residents of the Parker – Eleanor Street area.
He was a constant presence seen standing at the corner of Eleanor Street and Broadway by the variety store on that corner.
This writer knew the deceased man and had stopped to speak with him in the early morning hours in Bellingham Square by the Store 24 where he was very often seen.
As many others have said, he tended always to ask for a cigarette and then for a few dollars.
Burgess was hit by a Chelsea Police car as it sped to a call for aid from the Everett Police about 11:15 p.m. last Thursday night.
The accident took place on Broadway, close to the intersection of Parker Street.
Burgess had apparently wandered onto Broadway trying to get to the other side when he was hit full force.
He lived alone but apparently has a brother living in Florida.