One Month After Burrill Hit-and-Run, Police Have Yet to File Charges

Haverhill pedestrian Charles O. “Chucky” Burrill Jr. was killed while walking in the crosswalk just after 5 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (WHAV News file photograph.)

On Friday, Jan. 25, Haverhill’s Charles Burrill was walking from his home on Groveland Street to the downtown bus station when he was struck and killed in White’s Corner in an early morning hit-and-run accident. One month later, charges have yet to be brought against the driver, said to have allegedly driven away only to return to the scene several hours later.

Charles O. “Chucky” Burrill Jr. (Courtesy photograph)

While WHAV asked for, and received, a partially redacted Haverhill Police report within 10 days of the accident, the fatal hit-and-run remains under investigation by Haverhill and Massachusetts State Police.

“No charges have been filed in the fatal hit-and-run,” Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett’s spokeswoman Carrie Kimball told WHAV.

In the police report obtained by WHAV, the driver’s name and other identifying details were blacked out, but several crash details and observations from Sgt. Kevin F. Lynch were made public. In one major revelation, Lynch testified that three street lights at the Main and Water Street intersection where Burrill was hit at 5:14 a.m. were either out or “dim.”

Fifty-nine-year-old Burrill was walking to the Washington Street bus depot to catch a ride to work at Newburyport’s Anna Jaques Hospital, where he was a longtime custodian. He was pronounced dead at the scene after being hit while in the crosswalk, police said.

Several hours after the Jan. 25 accident, Haverhill Police took custody of a silver PT Cruiser said to be involved in the accident and executing a search warrant at the Bradford home of the driver. A public records request made by WHAV on Monday, Jan. 28 for details of the search and seizure was denied. At the time, Haverhill Police said the refusal was due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

This is the second Haverhill motor vehicle-related case to see a delay in charges filed. Last September, Haverhill High School senior Jordan Rankin was struck and killed at the intersection of Crystal and Liberty Streets when, according to police and court documents, Methuen’s Owen Foote allegedly sped past a stop sign going 70 mph in a residential zone. He was arrested six weeks after the accident and his case continues in Haverhill District Court.

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