Woman killed in New Year’s Eve crash on State Road

Jan 1, 2021

A female pedestrian was killed after being struck by a car on Route 6 on New Year’s Eve, according to the Dartmouth Police Department.

Wendy Tolley, 56, of New Bedford was hit by a 24-year-old Dartmouth woman driving a Toyota Prius while walking in the area of 597 State Road on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020 just before 10 p.m.

Police and other emergency personnel responded to several calls about the incident but were unable to save Tolley, who died from her injuries.

This is the second pedestrian struck and killed on that stretch of State Road this year, as 37-year-old Fall River resident Ryan Silvia died after being hit while walking near 671 State Road in July.

Another pedestrian was previously killed in a hit and run around 653 State Road in 2018.

The issue was brought up at an Aug. 24 Select Board meeting, when Town Administrator Shawn MacInnes informed the board that more lights will be installed on a dark stretch of the road between the Moby Dick Motel and businesses near the Reed Road intersection. 

Select Board member Shawn McDonald also noted issues with the transitional housing program that sees those at risk of becoming homeless moved to the motels along State Road, adding that the number of police responses to the area is “concerning.”

“You’re talking over 500 [police responses] in a three-year period,” he said, citing data in an email from Police Chief Brian Levesque. “That’s a lot. That’s about one every less than two days. That’s not a good thing.”

“This is something that we need to address,” he added.

A police spokesperson confirmed that Tolley had been staying at one of the motels along State Road.

The Dartmouth Police Department is conducting an investigation into this latest incident with state police, closing part of State Road for several hours after the crash.

No arrest was made, and no further information or details are currently available.