Driver charged in Spencer crash that killed National Grid worker

October 25, 2019

This article originally appeared in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.

By Kim Ring
Telegram & Gazette Staff

Posted Oct 21, 2019 at 7:22 PM
Updated Oct 21, 2019 at 10:04 PM

EAST BROOKFIELD – A North Brookfield woman faces motor vehicle homicide charges in the death of a National Grid worker who was struck on Route 9 in Spencer on July 31.

Madeline Polselli, 70, of 12 Lakeview Rd., North Brookfield, is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 31 on charges of motor vehicle homicide by reckless driving, motor vehicle homicide by negligent driving, negligent driving and failing to slow. She was also charged with negligent driving and failing to slow in a separate court docket related to the same case.

Police, in their report, said Polselli was driving east on Route 9 just before 10:30 a.m. July 31 in her 2019 Nissan Juke when she struck Paul Germano, 50, who was marking the road for an upcoming construction project near Greenville Street. Other witnesses told police they clearly saw Germano, who was clad in a high-visibility vest, but Polselli struck him, causing injuries that police said eventually caused his death on Aug. 12.

Polselli allegedly had been taking methadone daily and was headed to Worcester for a dose scheduled to be administered the day of the crash, police wrote. She’d had 44 mg of the drug the previous day, police wrote. Through their investigation they learned that Polselli had experienced a dizzy spell at the hair salon recently and that she’d also lost a significant amount of weight on the Jenny Craig diet program, court documents show.

Spencer police were granted search warrants to gather the car’s data recorder along with the driver’s cellphone records and medical records. According to court records, police do not believe Polselli was using her phone, and the data recorder did not register the crash. A crash reconstruction report said Polselli’s vehicle was estimated to be traveling 35 to 43 miles per hour in a 40 mph zone. Medical records showed she was anxious after the crash and repeatedly expressed concern about going to jail, a police report states.

Polselli allegedly told bystanders and police she never saw Germano in the road. By Aug. 5, Polselli had hired an attorney and declined to speak with police investigating the crash, according to court records.

Germano, 50, was thrown from one side of the Greenville Street intersection to the other, the reconstruction report from the Central Massachusetts Regional Law Enforcement Council shows. Witnesses sprang into action, performing CPR, but Germano’s injuries left him unable to sustain a heart rhythm without medical intervention, court documents show. His injuries included a severe head injury, brain bleeding, clots and swelling, along with possible shearing of the brain and brain stem, records said.