Resident Dies Of Injuries After Pedestrian/Vehicle Accident

Photo: Sachi Thanawala (Belmont Manor website)

A 39-year-old Sycamore Street resident who was struck by a van and injured Tuesday walking in a crosswalk a few feet from her house died Thursday, August 30, according to official reports released on Friday.

Sachi Thanawala, 39, died at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he was taken after being hit by a 2015 Ford Transit commercial van at the intersection of Lexington and Sycamore street at approximately 8:25 a.m.

The mother of two, Thanawala was the Director of Rehabilitation at Belmont Manor since March of 2016. She was an occupational therapist with 12 years of clinical and management experience in Geriatric care, according to Belmont Manor, a nursing and rehabilitation home located on Agassiz Avenue, a few blocks from the accident scene.

The driver of the van has not been charged with any traffic violation or crime in connection with the incident. An investigation by Belmont and State Police is ongoing. Belmont Police said there was no sign of driver impairment at the time of the accident.

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Comments

  1. Steve says

    Anyone with familiarity of this intersection would know that the raised street on both sides of the Lexington St. intersection is unbelievably poorly designed. I expect this to be a factor in the accident not speed or driver distraction. We’ll see. Thoughts and prayers to this family.

  2. Willow says

    The speed limit of 20 mph is ridiculous. People simply need to be more careful. Life is full of dangers and Belmont is already an incredibly safe town. Unfortunately, to publicly go against any further decrease in speed limits or changes to traffic laws will look as if we don’t care about this family’s tragic loss. Of course our hearts go out to Sachi’s family, but it is the wrong time for the Selectmen to make any changes in traffic law. There can not be any fair debate.

    • Mary says

      It’s 25, not 20, and it’s what every town around us not only posts on similar streets, but actually enforces. People systematically go 10 mi or more over limit, so if limit were 30, they’d go 40.

      I don’t know what happened with this driver, but the pedestrian was someone who walked that route every day and was surely careful.

      Did the driver go too fast? Was he looking at phone? Let’s hear what actually happened please!

      Like Marsh and Winter, this should be a 4-way stop sign. Of course that won’t erase this tragedy but it might prevent another one.

  3. Marianne Butler says

    This is horrible. My sympathy goes out to this family. I think town engineers need to take a look at the whole area up to Mill St. Another area that is dangerous as a pedestrian is crossing light at Trapelo where cars take a left. The walk signal is at the same time as left arrow. I’ve almost been hit multiple times, and my neighbor was. She almost died from her injuries. Trapelo kid like a race race track

  4. Safety first! says

    That speed bump at Lexington and sycamore is poorly designed. Drivers think it’s a stop. It is on sycamore but not on Lexington. It’s a horrible bump badly graded. They should get rid of the bump and put up a stop so traffic isn’t confused and dangerous -and it is dangerous.!

  5. Mamou says

    What a tragedy for this young woman and her family. Are the police enforcing the new 25 mph speed limit???? Cross Street is a speedway all day and no police ever in sight. Those movable signs that show your speed might help distracted drivers to slow down. But then again they are looking at their phones and couldn’t see the sign. Police presence is the solution.

  6. T.O. says

    Sara, I could not agree with you more – Belmont Roads are increasingly hazardous! I’m a daily walker, and can relate firsthand, to cars speeding to cut through neighborhoods by the Winn Brook School, Cross Street, Little Pond, and Channing. It makes me so angry to be forced to run through the crosswalks on Brighton, because drivers simply refuse to slow down! The town is inviting more tragedy by not aggressively addressing the pass-through traffic, and by not enforcing the new 25 mph law. It was frustrating to hear the police officer at town meeting state that they couldn’t actually enforce the 25 mph speed limit, but that it would help compel people to slow down to a more reasonable 30-35mph. Can the kids in Belmont run faster than that? .

  7. Frank Maldarelli says

    I live just 100 feet from the intersection where the accident occurred, and want to extend my deepest condolences to the family. I did not know Ms. Thanawala, but a tragedy like this could and should have been avoided. This intersection is an absolute nightmare, and has only gotten worse since the town added a raised speed table/bump. Cars race down the hill, and literally go airborne over the speed table in order to make the light at the bottom of the hill, frequently scratching the undercarriage of their cars. I don’t know if excessive speed played a part in this accident, but there have been numerous accidents at this intersection since I’ve lived here. My recommendation would be to add a four-way stop sign. Perhaps this will prevent life from needlessly being lost in the future.

  8. Navaraj Anandan says

    Thank you Sara for bringing this up. I am a friend of sachi, the agony her death is causing to everyone who knew her is unspeakable (knowing her I am pretty sure she was very much a contributing member of the community), I am not even a bostonian (we are from chicago), please do something to stop any further tragedies like this and then call it “unfortunate” you have our wholehearted support for demanding a change, put a stop sign or signal or something (I have personally crossed this street when visiting )Please keep up the pressure, mobilize the community! Please don’t let any more people get hurt! Belmont owes this sach!

  9. Sara says

    The speed limit is not being enforced in Belmont, not even close. I am sorry to hear of this tragedy, very sorry. In the past I have written to the selectmen and to the police. I have begged the authorities to think more deeply about crosswalks and how to make them safe.. I have watched in horror as children ran, frightened and confused, across streets where cars would not slow down at all. Common Street, for example, is a nightmare of speeding and nothing is done. Almost no one is going 25 miles per hour. I am tail-gaited constantly when I drive on Common Street. Belmont is used as a cut through–pick up trucks, vans, fast cars. Enough!!! Do something!! Let’s demand more of our town government.

    • Navaraj Anandan says

      Thank you Sara for bringing this up. I am a friend of sachi, the agony her death is causing to everyone who knew her is unspeakable (knowing her I am pretty sure she was very much a contributing member of the community), I am not even a bostonian (we are from chicago), please do something to stop any further tragedies like this and then call it “unfortunate” you have our wholehearted support for demanding a change, put a stop sign or signal or something (I have personally crossed this street when visiting )Please keep up the pressure, mobilize the community! Please don’t let any more people get hurt! Belmont owes this sach!

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