Middlesex County

‘She dedicated her career to improving the lives of vulnerable communities’: Local doctor killed in Somerville pedestrian accident

SOMERVILLE, Mass. — A pedestrian crash in Somerville on November 3 has claimed the life of a Somerville mother and beloved doctor.

40-year-old Leah Zallman was hit by a pick-up truck just before 1 p.m. at the intersection of College and Kidder avenues, according to a joint statement from Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Somerville Police Chief David Fallon. Zallman was unresponsive at the scene and taken by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital where she died two days later.

The preliminary investigation suggests the driver was on College Avenue and trying to take a left turn on Kidder Avenue at the time of the crash.

The driver’s name hasn’t been released, but he’s been identified as a City of Somerville employee. He was on duty at the time of the crash but was driving his personal pick-up truck.

“I send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Leah Zallman,” Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said in a statement. “There are no words that can fully convey the pain and grief felt after such a tragic loss.”

Sources told Boston 25 News the driver is a city building inspector. He has been placed on paid leave pending the results of the investigation, according to a statement from the city.

Zallman was the Director of Research at the Institute for Community Health, a primary care physician at Cambridge Health Alliance’s East Cambridge Care Center and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

“She was a generous, kind, and compassionate person whose life’s work was dedicated to social justice and caring for the most vulnerable in our community,” the Institute for Community Health said in a statement. “We will miss Leah dearly and send our most heartfelt condolences to her family, friends, colleagues, patients, and all those whose lives she touched.”

“She dedicated her career to improving the lives of vulnerable communities, both in clinical care and policy,” Cambridge Health Alliance, which operates East Cambridge Care Center, said in a statement. “Her research on health disparities influenced the national conversation on improving barriers to care for the underserved, and she played a critical role in shaping our organizational commitment to addressing the social determinants of health for our patients and communities.”

According to her obituary, Zallman leaves behind a husband and two children.

“I hope that her loved ones find solace and comfort in memories of her and the impact she had on so many people through her work as a researcher, physician, and advocate for social justice,” Curtatone said. “In this time of tremendous loss in our community, I ask my fellow Somerville residents to hold Leah Zallman’s loved ones in your thoughts.”

The investigation into the crash is ongoing. So far, no charges have been filed.