, Salem, MA

Local News

August 23, 2013

Man hit by car near Salem church

SALEM — An elderly parishioner on his way to morning Mass was struck by a car yesterday in front of St. Anne’s Church.

Donald T. Wark, 80, who suffered leg and arm injuries, was listed in fair condition at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Wark is the third elderly person hit by a car on the North Shore in recent weeks. Two victims from Salem and Peabody died after being struck by hit-and-run drivers.

In a fourth incident, an 87-year-old man was struck and killed in January in front of St. Adelaide’s Church in Peabody.

A witness said Wark was in the crosswalk in front of the church rectory on Jefferson Avenue around 8:50 a.m. when he was hit by a car traveling toward Loring Avenue, according to police.

The driver, Eva Dailey, 83, of Lafayette Place, told police she was blinded by the sun. She was cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Passing motorists stopped and tended to Wark at the scene. He was transported by Atlantic Ambulance to Mass General.

Wark was on his way to St. Anne’s where he was scheduled to be a lecter, or reader, at the 9 a.m. Mass, according to a church employee.

An active member of the parish, Wark served on the task force that helped plan the recent reorganization of city parishes. He also had been chairman of St. Anne’s bazaar, the parish’s major fundraiser.

“He’s a very good person,” said Diane Charette, the administrative assistant at the church. St. Anne’s, she said, “has been an important part of his life.”

Yesterday’s accident was the latest in a series of incidents involving elderly pedestrians.

On Aug. 10, Patricia Fleury, 75, of Peabody, was killed by a hit-and-run driver while crossing the street near her home. A 24-year-old Danvers woman was charged in the accident.

On June 29, an 83-year-old Salem woman, Feliksa Mieszczanska, was killed on Loring Avenue in another hit-and-run. The driver has not been located.

Last January, Theodore Buttner, 87, of Somerville, was struck and killed crossing Lowell Street after attending Mass at St. Adelaide Church in Peabody. That driver has not been charged, according to records at Peabody District Court.

Tom Dalton can be reached at



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