CHELMSFORD (CBS) – A young pickup truck driver was killed when he collided with a front-end loader that was cleaning up storm damage in Chelmsford Tuesday night.
It happened around 9:30 p.m. at the intersection of Graniteville Road and School Street.
The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office said 22-year-old Michael Franklin of Westford was driving the pickup into the intersection when it slammed into the bucket of a front end loader owned by the town of Chelmsford. It was removing trees brought down by the storm.
The loud noise of the crash startled the neighborhood. “I called 911 right away,” said Jeremy Parker. “My wife checked to see if he was breathing.”
Franklin was pronounced dead at the scene.
“I heard the sound of tires squealing and this very very loud crash noise,” said Jerry Nelson. He also called 911, and later nailed together a wooden cross, placing it at the scene. “I want people to know what happened. I want them to know somebody cared,” he said.
Police said the front-end loader was being driven by 53-year-old David Tyler who works for the Chelmsford Department of Public Works. He was rushed to a hospital in Boston with a severe head injury.
Friends of Michael Franklin stopped by the intersection, leaving flowers. “He had a really funny sense of humor. He was nice to everybody he met,” said Kameryn Hall. “We just had a lot of fun times growing up, and we’re just really going to miss him.”
State Police are handling the investigation because the crash involved a town employee and town vehicle.