(NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Boston) - A horrific accident on the Meridian Street Bridge between East Boston and Chelsea Tuesday left a mother of two walking across the drawbridge dead.
Police have not identified her, but relatives say she is 43-year-old Aura Garcia of East Boston, known to friends as “Laura.”
Family friend David Agosto said, “It hurts a lot because she was very close to us and it’s not easy you know.”
Boston Police say a Boston DPW worker raising the bridge for a tall vessel coming through didn’t see her crossing, but as the bridge went up, police say he heard screaming.
Still unable to see her, he lowered the bridge, accidentally crushing her as the bridge came back down.
“She left two kids, yeah, she left two kids, the little one three years old and 15-years-old,” said Agosto
Garcia’s 15-year-old daughter says she had wished her mother a Happy New Year but didn’t see her walk out the door as she left for an appointment at Mass General Hospital in Chelsea.
Family and friends say they believe the bridge operator should be held responsible for Garcia’s tragic death.
“It is his responsibility," said Agosto, "there should be nobody there on that bridge before he lifted the bridge.”
Residents of East Boston and Chelsea who walk this bridge daily say something needs to be done to improve visibility for the drawbridge operator and sound a warning for pedestrians.
Tom Green of East Boston said of the operator, “He’s on one opposite side and there’s three corners that he’s got to watch and that situation is not up high enough for him to really see it all.”
Emanuel Santiago-Ortiz, who walks bridge daily, said, “Once the bridge is coming up, they would not have a chance to go back because either you’re going to slip down or you’re going to get stuck in the iron, so it’s just sad.”
“She was a beautiful woman and you got to take the heat because he just left two kids alone,” said Agosto.