Essex County DA stepping up investigation into November car crash?

Posted by Jeremy Shulkin

A Worcester Police Department statement with a heading longer than its body was released to local media today, noting that “All media inquiries with regard to the November 28, 2010 motor vehicle accident at Hamilton Street and Puritan Avenue are referred to the Essex County District Attorney’s office.”

That incident involved a 2:00 am crash between off-duty gang unit officer Thomas Duffy II and 20 year-old Kailee Higgins, a Centerfolds dancer and Shirley resident.

Information about the crash was slow to come out, as the Telegram reported over the course of a month. Incomplete logs were filled out and an records request for a report on the investigation was denied by WPD chief Gary Gemme. Questions have been raised/still remain about whether drugs and/or alcohol contributed to the crash.

Officer Duffy’s sister works at the Worcester County District Attorney’s office, which is why the investigation has been passed on to Essex County.

But the Essex DA’s involvement was made public in early January (in that third linked T&G article), so why send out a press release about it now? Two possible explanations: 1) either the WPD is getting hassled by reporters for more information and wanted to send one big email to tell everyone to talk to someone else or 2) the Essex DA has taken this one step further and is pursuing a full-fledged investigation.

We’ve left a message with Essex DA Jonathan Blodgett’s spokesman, and we’ll update if we hear anything further.


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