SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

December 5, 2012

Rider deemed at fault in fatal crash

UPS truck that hit motorcyclist in May was driven by Wenham man

GLOUCESTER — A fatal collision with a delivery truck on Essex Avenue in May was the fault of the motorcyclist, according to a report released yesterday by the district attorney’s office.

However, Joseph Orlando, attorney for Stephen Bennett’s widow, Tammy, and her four children, said a “satisfactory” settlement was previously reached between the family and UPS, the owner of the vehicle with which Bennett’s Harley-Davidson collided. Tammy Bennett and her son Hunter, who was 12 at the time, were following directly behind Stephen Bennett’s motorcycle as they headed toward their home in the nearby Heights of Cape Ann.

The accident occurred as the UPS truck was entering Essex Avenue (Route 133) from Fernwood Lake Avenue.

According to the State Police Collision Reconstruction Report, Bennett’s error was his decision to pull parallel to a truck directly ahead of him as its driver signaled for a right turn onto Fernwood Lake Avenue, “steered” to the right and “partially entered the breakdown lane (preparing) for the right turn.”

Tammy Bennett yesterday referred questions to Orlando, who said he had not yet received his copy of the accident report. Carrie Kimball Monahan, spokeswoman for District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, said the office had been informed by the Gloucester Police Department that the Bennett family and its representatives had been notified and given copies of the report.

After he received a copy via email from the Gloucester Daily Times, Orlando said he had only time to read the conclusion, which held Stephen Bennett, 43, responsible for the accident.

“It is very clear,” he said, that the conclusion “was written by someone who had not witnessed the accident.”

He said he would have been prepared to put Tammy and Hunter Bennett on the witness stand to challenge any conclusion that Stephen Bennett caused the accident.

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