Authorities identify Florence man struck by car, killed

  • A 78-year-old Florence man, Alan H. Porter, was struck and killed by a motor vehicle while riding his bike near the intersection of Nonotuck and Hinckley streets around 3:05 p.m. Monday. Rick Haggerty/Submitted Photo

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Published: 5/16/2017 8:50:26 AM

NORTHAMPTON — A 78-year-old Florence man was hit by a car and killed while riding his bike Monday afternoon.

Alan H. Porter was taken to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield where he was later pronounced dead, according to the Northwestern district attorney’s office.

Police responded to a report of a crash at the intersection of Nonotuck and Hinckley Streets around 3:05 p.m.

Porter was exiting Hinckley Street and attempting to cross Nonotuck Street when he was struck by an eastbound vehicle, the DA’s office said.

Officers on scene gave medical aid to the cyclist before paramedics with the Northampton Fire Rescue arrived, according to police.

Police said the driver, a 39-year-old Holyoke resident, remained on the scene and cooperated with officers.

Drug and alcohol impairment are not considered factors in the incident, and police said no criminal charges have been filed, according to the DA’s office.

When Rick Haggerty returned home around 4 p.m. Monday, he said he walked down to the site of the accident to speak with police.

“There was a sneaker on the ground. Seeing the size of the dent in the front of the car, the smashed-in windshield, I tried to envision someone coming out of Hinckley Street and that impact,” Haggerty said Tuesday morning.

Having lived on Nonotuck Street for over 20 years, Haggerty said speeding has been a “constant battle.”

Police have not said if speed was a factor and Haggerty clarified multiple times he wasn’t inferring that it was a factor.

“We’ve all hoped over the years to avert pedestrian or vehicular death or injuries,” he said. “It’s a very sad day in our neighborhood.”

A year ago, Haggerty even posted his own sign facing Hinckley Street telling drivers to slow down.

“This is a neighborhood not a racetrack,” the sign read.

The city’s Transportation and Parking Commission was scheduled to meet Tuesday night to discuss construction of speed bumps on Nonotuck Street about a fifth of a mile west of where the incident occurred. The speed bumps come at the recommendation of the Department of Public Works.

As part of a traffic-calming study, it was found that cars traveling near that portion of Nonotuck Street tend to travel 3 to 12 mph over the 30 mph speed limit.

“In the case of Nonotuck Street, many people on the street feel very strongly about this in both directions and I’ve heard from a lot of people,” City Councilor Ryan R. O’ʼDonnell said in advance of the meeting. O’Donnell serves as the chairman of the Transportation and Parking Commission.

“My hope is that we address a substantial public safety concern in as fair a way as possible,” he said.

The incident is under investigation by the Northampton Police and the Massachusetts State Police Detectives Unit assigned to the Northwestern district attorney’s office.

Emily Cutts can be reached at ecutts@gazettenet.com.




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