‘His life had impact’: Billerica police mourning loss of sergeant killed in construction accident

BILLERICA, Mass — A police sergeant has died following a construction accident on a major road in Billerica Friday afternoon.

Sergeant Ian Taylor, 49, was helping move a large tractor-trailer at a roadside construction site at the intersection of Boston Road and Pollard Road when he was struck by an excavator around 2:00 p.m.

Taylor was rushed to Lahey Hospital in Burlington where he was pronounced deceased, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a press conference around 7:30 p.m.

Billerica Police Chief Roy Frost said that Taylor was a 21-year law enforcement veteran and had been with the department since 2011.

“He’s an unbelievable police officer. We were lucky to have him and have him work with us,” Frost said. “Sergeant Taylor has done a lot for the community of Billerica and this region. He is an unbelievable police officer, a detective assigned to the federal drug task force for a long time. He is now assigned to the Substance Abuse Prevention Committee in Billerica where he and our substance abuse people go out every week on Wednesdays and meet with people who are suffering from opiate abuse and find ways to help them. This is what defines this man that he did all the time. He did it passionately. He loved helping the people in this community.”

Law enforcement arrived at the hospital throughout the night to pay their respects to the detective who received a medal of commendation from the Watertown Fire Department for saving a life in a car crash and the father of three.

“I want you folks to know Sergeant Taylor’s life made an impact while he was here,” Frost continued. “His life had meaning. He’s helped so many people. He’s saved so many people. His life had impact, it had meaning and I’m proud to have had him working for me here in Billerica.”

Boston Road, or Route 3A, was closed from Town Center to Floyd Street due to the crash for around four hours before reopening around 6:00 p.m.

Officials and investigators at the roadway could be seen gathering around the excavator surrounded in yellow caution tape.

Neighbors told Boston 25 that construction crews have been working to repair sections of Boston Road for several weeks, and it was common to see a police detail helping to guide traffic. Boston Road stretches through much of the town.

Arthur, a Boston Road resident, told Boston 25 he ran over when he heard screams.

“I heard somebody screaming, yelling like drastic, help, help!” Arthur described. “Then I heard a truck coming to a screeching stop, brakes turning on hard, came to my front yard and saw police on the ground.”

Arthur said the next few minutes were chaotic, as construction workers and police officers tended to Sgt. Taylor in the street.

“It didn’t look good, not at all,” Arthur said. “They were all trying to help him, they were turning him over, there were dozens of cop cars here within a minute.”

Boston 25 security analyst Dan Linskey said officers are trained in the academy on how to conduct a work detail in the middle of a busy street. Acccording to Linskey, tragedies like this one are rare, but they do happen.

“There’s a lot of guidelines by OSHA and NHTSA on what you need to do to set up a safe security zone around a construction,” said Linskey. “The purpose of the detail is to make sure there’s a safe environment where the construction work can get done but at the same time it doesn’t impact the security and the safety of citizens going about their daily operations.”

Flowers started to gather around Billerica’s Public Safety Memorial late Friday afternoon. The memorial honors Billerica first responders and emergency crews who died while in the line of duty.

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey released a statement on the fallen sergeant.:

“I’m heartbroken to hear about the tragic death of Billerica Police Sergeant Ian Taylor. I’ve reached out to Chief Roy Frost to offer my condolences and our administration’s full support during this terrible time. It’s clear that Sergeant Taylor was a remarkable person who dedicated his life to serving the community, especially when it came to supporting those who were suffering from substance use disorder. My heart goes out to his loved ones – his parents, wife and children – and the entire Billerica Police Department.”

—  Gov. Maura Healey

Taylor also has ties to the Lawrence Police Department.

The Lawrence Police Department mourns the loss of Billerica Sergeant Ian Taylor, who carried on his family’s tradition of serving and protecting the residents of Lawrence from 2003 to 2010. Sergeant Taylor comes from a family of service within the Lawrence Police Department; his father, Wayne Taylor is a retired Lawrence Police Officer, and his younger brother, Detective Zach Taylor, currently serves on the Department. The entire Lawrence Police Department extends our condolences to the Taylor family and the Billerica Police Department.

—  Lawrence Police Department

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said the investigation into the incident by the State Police Accident Reconstruction Team is in its early stages.

Boston 25 News has reached out to the construction company that was working on the project but has yet to hear back.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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