BROCKTON, Mass. — Family and friends are sorting through shock and heartbreak after a deadly accident claimed the life of a 32-year-old woman.
She was killed after a car pinned her against a building just steps from her apartment.
It happened shortly after 9 p.m. on Saturday at the intersection of Legion Parkway and Main Street.
Several neighbors who claim to have witnessed the accident told Boston 25 News that it happened after a driver ran a red light. Those witnesses said that car hit another car, sending that second vehicle spinning out of control into the path of the woman.
Family members are identifying her as Patrice Van Leer.
Her husband said she had just left their apartment less than 30 minutes earlier to run to the store. Arnold Van Leer recalled being led outside by the sound of the impact. He said he could’ve never prepared himself for what he would witness after walking out.
"I heard the crash from the bedroom and for some reason I just got up and got dressed and ran out here," said Van Leer. “I didn’t know it was her until someone said there was someone pinned under the car. It was the shoes, and I’m like 'oh my god no,' and then there was the pants the socks and then I’m like 'oh my god it’s my Tricey.'"
A memorial of flowers, stuffed animal and candles has been growing at the scene outside Brockton Neighborhood Health Center.
Devastated loved ones, including Arnold Van Leer, also wrote messages on balloons on Sunday afternoon before releasing them into the sky.
“I want her to be remembered for being a kind and caring soul," said Van Leer.
The victim’s mother, Carol Newton, told Boston 25 News she’s still hoping to wake up from what she describes as a nightmare.
“She was my daughter she was my heart and my soul, I want her back home with me and I can't have that," said Newton.
Patrice's family believes the crash shouldn't have happened, and they are blaming the driver who, according to witnesses, blew a red light.
“The way the car went through the red light, it’s heartbreaking. There’s too many people being hit by cars,” said witness Haley Bassett. “It’s disgusting the way they drive around here.”
Authorities said the two drivers involved in the accident remained on scene and that both were taken to the hospital for minor injuries.
It is still unclear whether any criminal charges could be filed in this case.
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