Centerville Teen Struck by 81-Year-Old Driver

A car in Centerville struck a 16-year-old Barnstable High School student Thursday morning while she was getting on the bus on Old Stage Rd. and Patriots Way.


Timothy Maher was driving to work Thursday morning around 7 a.m. when he witnessed what he described as a horrific scene. Maher was stopped for a school bus when he saw a car heading towards several students crossing the street to get on the bus.  According to Maher the car appeared to not have noticed the bus or the students crossing the street.

“All of a sudden I saw headlights and a car that was not even slowing down. He didn’t slow down, he didn’t break, swerve, anything,” Maher said in a telephone interview.

Maher said the impact threw the girl the length of the school bus.

Barnstable Police Sgt. Sean Sweeney said the 16-year-old victim was taken to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence Rhode Island, a trauma hospital. Sweeney said the victim sustained a possible broken leg and cuts and bruises but not life threatening injuries.

The driver, 81-year-old John Mullaly, was cited for operating to endanger and failure to stop for a school bus. A request to the Registry of Motor Vehicles was filed for immediate threat, meaning Mullaly will lose his license while the Registry can determine if he is competent to drive. Mullaly was not injured during the incident.

1CarGarageinNC February 01, 2013 at 02:00 PM
Commercial pilots have to stop flying at age 60. I used to wonder why. But now, at that age, I walk into a room and have to think: why am I here? Happens to us all. Let's assume that Mr Mullaly is a nice, well meaning and healthy individual. And he was sober at the time. But he's 81 and many people are starting to lose their sight, hearing, motor skills and judgement at that point in life. Trust me, I'm not looking forward to it. But this underscores the fact that driving is a privilege -- not a right -- one that is earned and needs to be re-earned when necessary. It's hard to be told "you can't do this any more." And in this case it may be handing over the car keys. Let's pray for the injured students. And pray that people get away from the driver's side of the car when they aren't FULLY capable of exercising those privileges.
Mark Hansen February 01, 2013 at 02:44 PM
This should be another example of why we should require manditory testing over age 70.
Elizabeth J. Appleton February 01, 2013 at 11:28 PM
betsy,,,,,I so agree with what the police are doing....When my father got to that age he almost killed us,( sister) a few times. When he finally realized that he shouldn't drive, it was kinda late in his age....He never thought that his driving was getting bad and no matter how hard we tried to tell him the madder he got....There is a need to test drivers,70 and up. They should figure out how to get things done and start the testing now...
Chris Bartley February 01, 2013 at 11:58 PM
put him in jail he almost murdered my best friend


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