Worcester Woman Answers Door, Killed By SUV

By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV

WORCESTER (CBS) – A woman hit by an SUV at her Worcester home Thursday night has died, police said.

John Pappas was going to check on his neighbor, 83 year old Rosemary Turner Thursday night to see how she was doing. He dropped in on her at least twice a week to help her out.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports


He had just knocked and Rosemary was opening the door, when he heard a harrowing sound. An SUV was flying through the air towards him. It careened over an island, across four lanes of traffic, through Rosemary’s hard and through her front door.

John jumped out of the way, but couldn’t help Rosemary. He landed on the grass, his leg throbbing. “I was just thinking my gosh, she’s in there. It’s right where she was standing.”

He was stunned when emergency crews arrived to see Rosemary Turner wheeled out on stretcher. She was calling his name. “I said you’re okay I’ll see you at the hospital.”

Turner, who was pinned under the 2008 Nissan Pathfinder for 45 minutes, was in critical condition when she was taken to UMass Medical Center, but she passed away later in the night.

The driver, Hari Dhakal, says she tried to stop, but believes his brakes failed. “There was something wrong with the break. I jammed the break. And the car didn’t stop.” He says he does not believe he was pressing the gas pedal instead of the break. Dhakal, who is getting his master’s degree, is a husband and father of two. He says he was driving to pick up his wife at the time, and drives down that road every day. He spoke about the crash, obviously upset as he walked away.

Police said alcohol was not involved in the crash, but speed may have played a factor.Officers returned to the scene to collect more evidence. They will also get a warrant to inspect the SUV’s black box, which contains information about braking, speed and acceleration. That is expected to take several weeks.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Italo says:

    When will this madness stop? PLEASE, get these giant truck-based vehicles driven by non-truckdriving-trained drivers, these SUVs-from-hell, off the roads once and for all.

    1. Andrew says:

      thats really not a fair statement. This is definitely a tragedy don’t get me wrong and I send my condolences to her family, but the fact that he was driving an SUV is irrelevant. If anything, SUVs are good for seeing more of the road and are overall safer. This was a freak accident. What would your reaction be if this was in a compact or a sedan?

      1. BJD says:

        Yeah I don’t think the fact that it was an SUV has anything to do with it. Probably the fact that he was speeding in what sounds like a residential neighborhood is.

      2. kulin says:

        You do understand that the increased visibility comes at the cost of the visibility for drivers in normal sized cars?

      3. Berni Strunz says:

        I cannot Believe the SPELLING ….drove thru her hard Meaning Yard …BREAK ..hello BREAK is spelled BRAKE …..please hire a 3 year old to proof read your CHITT

      4. C B says:

        Speaking of SPELLING, How about “through” instead of “thru”?

      5. Scott K. says:

        Wrong, generally speaking, SUV’s are less safe than cars while giving the image of safety. Futhermore SUV’s are involved in a dispraportionate amount of roll over accidents, the most deadly type of accident there is.

      6. Michael Mirenzi says:

        SUVs are are the least safe vehicles to other drivers and pedestrians, period. This has been a proven fact. They are almost uncontrollable when the driver needs to brake quickly.

      7. Rick M says:

        Id shut off the key/ engine in a manner as to not lock the steering wheel then pull the E brake and steer clear of any homes,pedestrians , or other cars.
        Just like I did when the throttle got stuck in my 92′ Mustang GT Hi performance 5.0 I didn’t panic and freeze as it sped out of control I took control of the situation killed the ignition and steered it to a safe spot with no power steering or power brakes. I can easily see an uncoordinated person panicking and just freezing up and riding it out in that same situation .Just like the guy who called 911 when his throttle was stuck on the highway with his entire family in the car . “they all tragically died that day” I never understood why no one told that guy to shut off the engine!!! & if there are cars that can not be shut off when they are running by turning the key to the OFF position, for what ever reason then that’s a big time law suit in my opinion because ignition off should do just that, shut the cars engine off. The experience in my Mustang is one of the reasons I will never buy one of those push button ignition cars.

    2. ktalgsto says:

      Seriously? With a comment like that I hope you aren’t smart enough to pass a driver’s test to get a license…

      1. Berni Strunz says:

        this Karen dummy (the writer) OBVIOUSLY skipped grade school ….hard =Yard ,break =brake ….somebody date this moron and teach her 1st grade spelling

      2. Bob Nelson says:

        Don’t know if the reporter wrote this up or if someone (an intern or other kind of worker at WBZ) transcribed what was said on the video clip. Who knows.

      3. Melissa says:

        I agree with the comment about the writer. If you’re going to be a writer you should know correct grammar and spelling. Wow…

    3. Ralph M says:

      I take it you feel foolish and less than manly, driving your prius. Get a life

      1. Mike says:

        Do you feel more manly paying $100 a tank for gas? We all know what little man/big truck means. We can thank the drivers of SUVs these past 15 years for gas being as high as it is today.

      2. michelle says:

        now days alot of vehicles take a $100 to fill up :-/

      3. Lotta Lipflappin says:

        @Mike: Mike you mincing little poofter, the reason gas prices are high is because we import and produce little energy of our own PLUS we haven’t built a refinery in 35 years because of the prohibitive costs due to the EPA. In America we are still free for the moment to choose what vehicle we wish to drive but as long as we keep producing dolts like you that won’t go on for much longer.

      4. Russ says:

        Mike said “We can thank the drivers of SUVs these past 15 years for gas being as high as it is today.” No, we can thank the nitwit in the White House for the price of gas having risen over 100% in the 2 1/2 years since he took office! THAT is the source of high gasoline prices. Now go back to your Nutella.

    4. DaveNYUSA says:

      You really are not THAT stupid, are you?

    5. Eric B. says:

      Italo. In what language does that mean idiot? A Pathfinder is a rather small SUV that can readily be driven by anyone who can operate a car. Is not giant, or a truck, or from hell, ……on any road.

    6. Pete says:

      Why do you comment when you are clueless.The vehicle was a freakin Nissan.It isn’t a full sized car,it’s an import.People like you making uninformed comments are all the MADNESS.

      1. Michael Mirenzi says:

        Caprice, Impala, and Sebring are all full size cars. Obviously this SUV is bigger than those. You don’t have the foggiest idea what you’re talking about.

    7. Lotta Lipflappin says:

      That SUV doesn’t weigh anymore than a full sized luxury car you panty wearing powder puff. I drive a dodge diesel pickup truck that weighs more than that stupid “SUV” and it has NEVER left my garage to go on a killing rampage. Buy a brain on the black market before you post again.

    8. Russ says:

      OH come on, a Nissan Pathfinder is not a “giant” vehicle and surely does not require any special training. The fact that it was an SUV had nothing to do with the accident. Perhaps the old woman would have been okay if a Ford Focus had run her down…?

    9. Suckit says:

      I can’t believe how stupid you are. Many of us in rural areas tow trailers on a regular basis, need the ground clearance, etc. Why should we have to change our lives because someone has an accident and happens to be driving an SUV. People like you are so stupid and can’t be reasoned with. If you were standing behind that door instead of that woman, it would’ve been a positive thing.,Not all of us can fit in a tree huggers car like a volt or Ford Festiva. I’m 6’7″ 270 lbs. I don’t fit in little cars. .

  2. Mark says:

    Has he ever heard of ‘downshifting’?

    Good grief from the picture how fast was he going? I hope they check out his “I lost my brakes story” carefully.

    1. Cynic says:

      Brakes CAN bypass occasionally,but flying down the road doesn’t help either.

    2. Sevin says:

      I doubt there was time to think about downshifting. Have you ever been in a car wreck or slid on black ice? All you think is “how bad is this going to hurt?” You’re trying to control the vehicle, but there are only seconds to react.

      1. Michael Mirenzi says:

        Actually, yes. I’ve never had a problem doing the things I need to do to maintain control of my car, including downshifting, putting the car in neutral, pumping the brakes, steering in to the skid, etc etc.

        If you are not capable of doing these things then you shouldn’t be behind the wheel. I don’t care if that eliminates 90% of the drivers on the road.

      2. Gorddo says:

        Michael you seem like the kind of guy that has never had trouble doing anything, ever, at anytime in your life. I’m also willing to bet you do most things better than anyone else ever has, or will do. You probably have a room full of awards and trophys surounded by walls with plenty of pictures of yourself too. Congratulations to you and I apologize on behalf of the rest of us.

      3. Brian Miller says:

        Not time?????? The story said he careened over an island (1), across FOUR lanes of traffic (2) and across her Front Yard (3). If there wasn’t time to use his brain to put it in NEUTRAL (and he his studying for his masters, so he must have at least half a light bulb lit), then obviously he was SPEEDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t think they need to really look at that black box then, it’s obvious if he had no time to reach next to him and make a QUICK shift to NEUTRAL, then he was probably going at least 80.

    3. T.I . says:

      must be a real problem with these vehicles nissan just recalled 20,000 due to them losing control hmm maybe they will find this amongst all the complaints they recieve.

    4. Alx1775 says:

      Don’t know the specifics of this case. Maybe he was speeding, or maybe his accelerator stuck, or maybe he hit the gas instead of the brake. Unlikely but possible. What is unlikely that anyone – even a habitual speeder – would be traveling fast enough into a T-intersection to go airborne and vault over a woman’s yard to smash her front door.

      This is why I drive a standard, and probably always will. If my engine races, I can always downshift or disengage the engine. Plus, I get better than 28mpg out of my SUV – another advantage of a manual transmission.

  3. Carole Plouffe says:

    I’m surprised the age of the driver was mentioned, since he’s not a senior citizen.

    1. Berni Strunz says:

      another IDIOT phd and no brain ..shift to Neutral or Park even ..dummy

      1. Cynthia says:

        Let me see, you’re traveling at a high rate of speed (even 40 is high in an emergency), you’re trying to stop and you want them to shut down the fear and emotions to say “car – neutral”, by the time the brain registered it would have been too late anyway. sheesh

      2. Richard says:

        When your car is going at a high rate of speed the gear will not change due to the rate of speed the tranmission componeents are operating at….Dummy

  4. Chris says:

    Maybe this is just me, but if I lost my brakes I’d aim for something other than the front door of someone’s house.

    1. dan says:

      YEAH, NO KIDDING..I WOULD RATHER HIT A TREE

    2. Cyndi says:

      You are right. I would rather flip my car then accidentally injure/kill someone else in the process.

  5. Pepaw says:

    What happened to the person she was answering the door for?

    1. Dan says:

      GOOD POINT PEPAW

      1. Michael Mirenzi says:

        If either of you had read the article you would know.

    2. matty says:

      really dude, you couldn’t pull the “broken ankle” out of a few paragraph article, and then dare to comment, boo

    3. Gorddo says:

      Read the story….”John jumped out of the way, but couldn’t help Rosemary. He landed on the grass, his leg throbbing. “I was just thinking my gosh, she’s in there. It’s right where she was standing.”

  6. Bud says:

    Maybe they really meant ‘break’ and that’s why the car didn’t stop. If only the driver had hit the brake instead of the break!

    1. Berni Strunz says:

      and it drove thru rosemary’s HARD …duhh Karen …u r insipid…..see my Yard..

  7. KennyG says:

    What IDIOT wrote this article?? The device that stops a vehicle is a BRAKE not a BREAK!!!

    1. frolona says:

      yeah was the driver male or female “SHE tried to stop but believes HIS brakes failed”

      1. Belky says:

        My finger smells like poop, weird!

      2. Swamp Donkey says:

        “It careened over an island, across four lanes of traffic, through Rosemary’s ((((hard))))) and through her front door.”

        Worst editing job of all time award for this article. What’s a hard?

      3. Cyndi says:

        Yeah saw that error to but it says that he is a husband and father of 2.

    2. eliz1bef says:

      The article’s a complete mess. Run-on sentences, pronoun gender disagreements, spelling errors; it’s like a Whitman’s sampler of poor grammar and usage. If an editor looked at this and let it fly, they should be demoted.

  8. Phil says:

    Cars don’t have a “black box” like mentioned in this article.

    1. Sjefke says:

      Actually, Phil, they do. The computer that controls the SRS (air bag system) gets a number of inputs, such as the car’s speed and accelleration, gas pedal setting, brake pedal, and so on. It uses these to determine which, if any, of the car’s air bags needs to be activated and when.

      It also saves this data for thirty to sixty seconds, overwriting the old data as new data comes in – so when it is triggered by an accident it always has a record of what the car and driver were doing in the time immediately before the accident. This information can be downloaded from the chip in the car and used by investigators to determine the actual cause of the accident – and by law enforcement as evidence to charge the car’s driver if appropriate.

    2. Michael Mirenzi says:

      The ECU is a black box. You can glean from it the speed the vehicle was traveling and what pedals and other inputs were being used at the time of impact and for a minute or two before hand.

      How do you people get to be so ignorant?

      1. The Observer says:

        Uh, typically ignorance is a starting point, not a destination so one doesn’t ‘get’ ignorant, one IS ignorant.

        And for you to spout out that information as if it were as common as knowing how to boil water really ought to dial down your ignorance several levels. We all didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn last night.

      2. Gorddo says:

        Hey Michael, are you one of those?

    3. josh says:

      yes they do have a black box. i know cause they had to pull the one in my suv when i got hit head on june 12th 2009 on arsenal st.

      1. David says:

        I agree! Not only does this article crack me up with its messed up grammar but you guys that are commenting are making me scream with laughter! The best one yet was the Holiday Inn comment. Hilarious!

  9. patriot 23 says:

    what we need is a bunch of legislation to correct this problem as soon as they get done persecuting baseball players, buying banks and car company’s then we can get down to the business of making or vehicles more complicated. How about a commitee made up of people who have never worked a day in their lives to berate and question the people who are forced to implement their foolish ideas.

  10. Jbacks3 says:

    “Break”? As in gibe me a…. who proofreads these articles?

    1. frolona says:

      probably the same person who proof read your comment. I believe it’s give not gibe

  11. Lisa says:

    I guess no one thought to edit this story before posting. One would think that a reporter and writer would know the difference between “break” and “brake” among other obvious mistakes in the story.

  12. Lana G says:

    don,t believe everything i read and see on this machine

  13. Brian Miller says:

    Like all those run away car stories that Toyota took a big hit over…..as has already been stated, none of those people thought to put it in “NEUTRAL”, nor did this guy studying to get his masters!!!! How can you be going to College and not know about “Neutral”?????????.

  14. Brian Miller says:

    Look at all those steps to that house, and the facts of the story (4 lanes of traffic, island, front yard) and the only question remains is……exactly how fast did that car have to be going to do all that?????

    I already threw out there….80, any other guesses?

  15. Gorddo says:

    I’m willing to bet the reporter did not make the entry online. They have interns and other “cheap” labor to do that. Doesn’t look so good for the reporter who gets the by line though.

  16. UseYourBrain says:

    SHAME on the author of this abysmally written article!
    I had to read it several times to make any sense of it.
    There’s, of course, the previously mentionned “break/brake”, “through/thru”, Hard/yard”.
    It also seems as if the writer can’t get the gender of the driver right: “The driver, Hari Dhakal, says she tried to stop, but believes his brakes failed” Who tried to stop? The victim?? Pffff.
    And the syntax! “He was driving to pick up his wife at the time” Why? Is she not his wife any longer? How about: “At the time of the accident, he was driving to pick up his wife.”
    “He was stunned when emergency crews arrived to see Rosemary Turner wheeled out on stretcher” I would be stunned too if I were the emergency crews and I arrived to see the victim being wheeled out! Urghhhh! How about “When emergency crews arrived, Pappas was stunned to see Rosemary being wheeled out on a stretcher.”
    So many mistakes, so little time…Both the reporter and the editor are illiterate cretins. Go back to elementary school.

    1. Mike says:

      Indeed. Simply horrible. That is the first thing that jumpd out out me was the dismal use of grammar, spelling, subject verb/ agreement. The writer should be in an adult education/GED class to finish what they obviously missed in high school the first time around. How can an editor allow such rubbish to be published? The abhorrent lack of skills displayed by the writer completely over power the intent of the article.

  17. W B M says:

    i believe, when all is said and done, and all the ludicrous post-accident rhetoric is filed away, and after they investigate the air bag computer, they will most likely find that the driver was incorrect and actually was jamming on the accelerator, and not the “break”. still doesn’t explain why he didn’t take his foot off all pedals, put it into neutral, etc. – this is evidently a bad and dangerous driver who should not have a license.

    1. प्रबिण पोक्वल says:

      i believe, when all is said and done, and all the ludicrous post-accident rhetoric is filed away, and after they investigate the air bag computer, they will most likely find that the driver was incorrect and actually was jamming on the accelerator, and not the “break”. still doesn’t explain why he didn’t take his foot off all pedals, put it into neutral, etc. – this is evidently a bad and dangerous driver who should not have a license.

  18. kathi says:

    why can’t we spell, don’t you have spell check. He, she which was it. Did the SUV go over the hard or yard. Get with it how much do they pay you to be dumn

    1. 80sgirl says:

      Pot meet dumn (sumb) kettle)

      1. amanda says:

        wow. wider and deeper. it just keeps getting better.

        as you see, we all make spelling errors and typos.

    2. Avirra says:

      Spell check doesn’t help in this case – they used the wrong words, but the words they used wrong were spelled correctly.

  19. Cassie McIntyre says:

    Wow, Karen Anderson needs to find a new line of work.

  20. charles says:

    I’ve someone wasn’t dead because of this, it be laughable.

  21. Trisha Tefer Wisebaker says:

    Hello? Proofread anyone? Sheesh, whoever wrote this should be FIRED.

    Having said that – this was such a tragic accident! Very sad.

  22. me says:

    Quotes from the story:
    It careened over an island, across four lanes of traffic, through Rosemary’s hard and through her front door.
    “There was something wrong with the break. I jammed the break. And the car didn’t stop.” He says he does not believe he was pressing the gas pedal instead of the break.

    The vehicle went through her HARD? How about yard? And I really love the break! I have never seen a break petal, how about a brake petal? What grade are the proof readers currently in? Can’t be higher than 4th.

    1. diamondp says:

      it is brake pedal..pe”d”al, not break petal (which is part of a flower). Where did you go to school at?

      1. amanda says:

        where did you go to school “at”? wider and deeper again.

  23. john says:

    i have no problem moving the gear shift to neutral in any car i have ever been in at highway speeds, dummy

  24. Mary says:

    “It careened over an island, across four lanes of traffic, through Rosemary’s hard and through her front door.” Through her hard? The person who wrote this needs to go back to school and learn to spell.

  25. Jessie says:

    This article needs an editor something fierce… It says, “SHE tried to stop but HIS brakes failed.” Seriously? Also, it states the driver said he does not BELIEVE he was pushing the gas pedal instead of the brake. He doesn’t BELIEVE he was pushing the gas pedal instead? Are you kidding me? Are you sure there wasn’t some other kind of mind altering substance going on. I’m pretty sure I would KNOW I wasn’t pushing the gas pedal! Unless the person writing the article was on some sort of mind altering substance; by reading this article that seems more likely. What was the purpose of that statement?

  26. kar says:

    Goodness people! Someone lost their life in this horrible accident and all you can talk about is the way the article was written?! Yes, they should have used spell check but the fact that you are griping about misspelled words and not the sadness of the situation just goes to show how cold and uncaring this country has become. My thoughts and prayers go out to John, Rosemary and their families.

  27. Thomas says:

    A SUV flying through the air, and they think speed was a factor? Yeah, maybe you’re right. Duh….

  28. ruraljuror says:

    SUV drivers drive too fast

  29. fred says:

    This article is most likely written by a blogger. Journalism is going down the drain.

  30. jason wofford says:

    some poor old lady got snuffed by an airborne s.u.v. and the entire comment section is about grammatical errors, and punctuation, and???? its a very strange world we live in…….guess i picked the wrong day to quit sniffin glue…….or is it sniffing glue….dont want to offend the language police….so put that in your past participle and smoke it

  31. jason wofford says:

    listen up people………..do you realize this may be the douchiest….(DOO-SHE-EST) assembly of people in the history of douchy assemblies of people……god bless each of you, youre mostly funny…laughable really, but not in a mean way, its just that…well, theres nuthin like missing the freakin point all together……..carry on people, didnt know there were so many aspiring english and grammar critics out there…….god bless the poor soul who lost her life while everyones worried about proving they know the difference between break and brake……….like i said before,,,,weird world we live in…….

    1. amanda says:

      fo shizzle

  32. amanda says:

    jesus h christ. we all make spelling mistakes. with the proliferation of spell checkers and our increasingly busy lives, it’s easy for people to overlook spelling. no big whoop.

  33. Nate Smith says:

    Obviously this genius mistook the accelerator for the Brake. At least the poor woman was 83 and hopefully it was over fast.You can trash SUV’s if you want but IF YOU KNOW HOW TO DRIVE then you will not get into a “rollover” situation in the first place . Also I got rear ended by a Lexus sedan with a Dufuss texting and not paying attention ,the sedan was a near total. I needed to touch up my Nissan Armada trailer hitch with some black paint ! and I hardly felt the guy hit .You drive your little bitty death sedan ladies I will stay safe in my SUV.

  34. Vera Carroll says:

    What a terrible tragedy! And for goodness sakes, hire a damn proofreader will you.

  35. Russ says:

    OH. Now I get it. I didn’t notice that this was the site for a BOSTON / CBS station. That explains all the frantic hand-wringing going on, much by “men”.

  36. Jack Stevens says:

    Another reckless immigrant with no respect for our laws.

    The driver had to be going extremely fast for this to happen.
    We can only imagine the horror this poor woman suffered.

    When will the Governor do something about this.
    He is equally responsible for this woman’s death.

    1. John Snow says:

      What pray tell do you think the Governor can do ? He only signes or vetoes bills prsented to him.

  37. John Snow says:

    The spelling errors are one thing the sex change in mid sentence is something else.

  38. Amanda says:

    This is sad, but was this article written by an idiot? I feel terrible for the woman as well as the neighbor who ultimately led to her death by just being a good person and checking on her (she wouldn’t have been at the door otherwise I bet) but it’s hard to focus on the article when they change the driver from a he to a she in the middle of it, then spell ‘brake’ wrong. Does anyone proof read anymore? I have a degree in professional writing and I can’t land a writing job, but someone out there is writing this garbage and it isn’t even proof read, or if it is the proof reader is just as dense? Seriously! I understand simple mistakes now and then when writing an article in haste, but this is ridiculous. The fact that this website hasn’t changed it after numerous people pointed it out is also a travesty.

    May she rest in peace and I hope the kind man who coulnd’t save her can come to peace with himself too. I’m sure he feels a great amount of guilt.

  39. IcedGreenTea says:

    When your brakes fail, pull the emergency brake, throw it in Park, and turn off the engine. Try to steer away from people, i.e, the front door of a house where a guy is standing ringing the bell.

    1. RDjoker says:

      Exactly, or use “N”, Neutral, engine doesn’t run get control etc…

  40. RDjoker says:

    Who wrote this story, hard/yard, break/brake geez. Jacked up. Poor woman this sounds like a scene from one of the Final Destination movies.

  41. Hopeful for the world says:

    The thing that makes me feel so bad for the world is the idiots that continue to comment bringing no more information other then thier dumb opinion and trying to get attention on themselves by saying things that are even stupider then the comment before. However there are those people that have left helpful comments or tips that have clarified other questions comments or other concerns. So everybody who doesnt know what they are talking about should find a better way of asking then just blabbing.

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