Man questioned in trooper crash

Massachusetts State Police Colonel Marian McGovern reported Wednesday that a Fitchburg man came forward claiming to be the driver that hit state trooper Joseph Drane on Tuesday.

A man in his 20s from the Fitchburg area went to a State Police barracks Wednesday morning and said he had personal information about Tuesday’s hit-and-run of a state trooper.  

As of press time that evening, the man had yet to be charged and police were still trying to determine if his information was true.

State Police Colonel Marian McGovern would not say whether the man was the driver of the black sedan that hit and seriously injured Trooper Joseph Drane, a 24-year veteran, as he worked a detail in a South Boston tunnel. However, she did say he implicated himself.

While investigators were questioning the man — who took a cab to the local State Police barracks — police were still searching for the suspect’s car.

“Make it easy on yourself,” McGovern said, addressing the at-large hit-and-run driver. “It would be the right thing to do for this individual to turn themselves in.”

Drane was scheduled to have surgery Wednesday.

The car was caught on camera about seven or eight times throughout the tunnel, and officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigations are helping to analyze the footage.

Police said that about 10 tips were reported through Wednesday morning.

McGovern warned that police were trying to verify the man’s information.

While she said that, she added that police are still on the lookout for the car in the Fitchburg and Boston areas.

That car would likely have front-end damage and windshield damage in the area of the inspection sticker, police said.

Drane, 55, of Stoneham, was hit about 9 a.m. Tuesday as he tried to signal a car to stop. He suffered three fractures to his leg, among other injuries.

Under internal review

The incident is the latest in a prolonged string of struck troopers. Since the start of last year, 44 have been hit.

“When we have this number we try to look internally to see what we are doing,” McGovern said, adding that trooper error was not found to be an issue in the incidents.

McGovern said the latest trooper class to graduate was taught to approach stopped cars from the passenger side.



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