Reconstruction possible at site where Middleboro teen fatally struck

May 30, 2023

The area where 15-year-old Middleboro High School freshman Dylan Leveque was fatally struck while crossing Route 28 on May 14 will receive a series of traffic safety upgrades, with a reconstructed intersection an eventual possibility, town and state officials have announced.

Vegetation will be cut down within two weeks to improve visibility and crosswalk markings will be redrawn and signage placed in the area of Route 28 and Merchant’s Plaza, according to information provided by Select Board Chair Mark Germain and Town Manager James McGrail. 

The teen was struck while crossing in that area May 14 and died two days later. 

The fatal accident amplified long-standing concerns about the safety of the area and prompted a meeting between town officials, according to local legislators and representatives of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District.

As a result of these meetings, a series of steps, from short-term to long-range, have been developed. 

Other short-term steps include making lighting upgrades to improve nighttime visibility and conducting a traffic count and research for a light signal at the location.

Medium-range plans involve investigating the possibility of rapid flashing lights at the crosswalk to alert pedestrians at the intersection. The town will also apply by mid-summer for the area to be designated a school zone, since the Goode and Burkland schools are located nearby.

The town will also apply to the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School program to allow for a safety study to be conducted of the Route 28 corridor between Routes 28 and 105 and Wood Street.

In the long term, officials will investigate the complete redesign and construction of a new, improved intersection that includes a traffic light.

The traffic work was welcome news to Dylan’s family. 

”When my son Dylan passed away, my family and I made it our personal mission to ensure no other family would ever have to go through such a tragedy,’’ Chelsea Levesque, Dylan’s mother, said in a statement. “And now, because a change is being made, I hope that no one ever will.’’

She thanked the town and state officials and local legislators “for moving so quickly to make a change. The intersection has been so unsafe for our children and members of our community for such a long time. It’s time something was done about it.’’

“We hope that with each solution we will be able to improve the intersection little by little until we can work toward redesigning and constructing a newer and safer intersection with lights,’’ McGrail said.

“The Town of Middleboro is committed to addressing this problem intersection,’’ Germain said, and is pleased to work with state partners. “We hope that in the weeks to come we will have significant improvements completed in this area.’’