REVERE (CBS) – A woman who was dragged to her death Tuesday night was hit by an MBTA bus, investigators said Wednesday.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports

The announcement came hours after 52-year-old Gayle Johnson was struck on Broadway just before 7 p.m. and dragged half-a-mile. The vehicle left the scene and the incident was initially called a hit-and-run by authorities.

Gayle Johnson (Courtesy: Family photo)

Gayle Johnson (Courtesy: Family photo)

Family members of Johnson tell WBZ-TV, she was likely on her way home from work when she was struck and killed.

Karen Johnson said when she visited a local cemetery this weekend, she didn’t realize she would have to return to bury her younger sister. “Sunday we were at the cemetery bringing Christmas baskets to my grandmother, my uncle and my parents, and I told my sister, ‘I really hate coming here,’ and she gave me the biggest hug,” Karen said. “Now I have to go back.”

Gayle was quiet and unassuming according to her siblings.

“There was certainly nothing glamorous about what she did for a living,” her brother Mike said. “But she was somebody who just got up like many Americans do and went to work and got a paycheck at the end of the week.”

Gayle and Karen shared a home just blocks away from the street where she was dragged to her death.

Karen said her sister’s normal route home took her along Broadway, a road, local business owner Robert Saint James calls congested and often dangerous. “One of our employees was hit (along Broadway) going back a few years,” he said. Saint James has owned Companions, a restaurant located just blocks away from the scene of the hit and run, for 15 years. He says there’s a pedestrian crash in the area on a monthly basis.

“There are too many vehicles,” insisted Saint James. “It’s over populated an there’s not enough room for us to get around.”

Police interviewed several witnesses and gathered evidence overnight. Among those interviewed was a 56-year-old MBTA bus driver.

The unidentified driver has not been charged at this time, according to Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley.

“He did not show signs of impairment; he was subjected to drug and alcohol testing pursuant to MBTA policy, the results of which must be subpoenaed by investigators,” Wark said in a statement Wednesday.

It’s not clear yet if the driver was aware the woman was hit or dragged.

State Police have taken over the investigation.

WBZ-TV’s Whitney Burbank contributed to this report.



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