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Driver Charged with Killing Pregnant Stoughton Pedestrian Held on $500K Bail

A female pedestrian was killed after being struck by a car Sunday night in Stoughton. The driver of the vehicle has been charged with motor vehicle homicide.

Karen Blau, 46, of Sharon (Credit: Stoughton Police Department)
Karen Blau, 46, of Sharon (Credit: Stoughton Police Department)
The Sharon driver charged with motor vehicle homicide after her car struck and killed a pregnant Stoughton woman Sunday night on Lincoln Street in Stoughton, plead not guilty to the charges in Stoughton District Court Monday afternoon.

Karen Blau, 46, of Suffolk Road in Sharon is being held on $500,000 cash bail. She is also accused of having alcohol and drugs in her system at the time of the fatal crash.

The victim, Joanne White, 35, was struck near the intersection of Grove Street around 8:45 p.m. on July 21.

"[Blau] backed out of a driveway at 107 Lincoln at a high rate of speed, crossed onto the opposite sidewalk and struck the victim before coming to rest against a tree," Stoughton Police Deputy Chief Robert Devine said in a statement.

"Stoughton Police and Fire personnel attempted life saving aid and the victim was transported via helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital where both she and the unborn child were pronounced dead."

White was four-months pregnant, Norfolk County Assistant District Attorney Matt Friedel said during Monday's arraignment.

Blau was arrested at the scene, Devine said, and charged with motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation, operating under the influence of drugs with serious injury, operating under the influence of liquor with serious injury, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and failure to remain in a marked lane.

Additional charges are possible.

White's 11-year-old son was walking with his mother Sunday evening. He saw the car coming towards them and heard his mother yell "run." He ran, hiding behind a tree, Officer William Healey wrote in his incident report.

This was the same tree Blau's car struck, and it saved White's son from also being hit," Healey noted.

Healey observed that Blau's eyes looked glassy and she was slightly slurring her words. She appeared unsteady on her feet and was unable to keep balance during the one-leg stand exercise.

Following the arraignment, Blau's attorney, James Gavigan said his client was "very alarmed" and "distraught."

He called the incident a "bad accident," and noted during the arraignment that his client had recently purchased the vehicle, a 2002 Buick, and it just accelerated, with Blau not being able to control it.

He said Blau was looking for her 24-year-old daughter who had been missing for a couple of days, and the daughter may have been at the Lincoln Street address where White was ultimately struck.

Gavigan said Blau will be seeking a reduction in the $500,000 cash bail set by Judge Richard Savignano. Gavigan had asked for bail to be set at $5,000.

"This is a tragic reminder that we all have a responsibility to not drive when impaired in any way or for any reason," Devine said. "We extend our deepest condolences to the family of the victims."

Blau is due back in court August 14.
Raquel July 22, 2013 at 11:42 PM
So sorry for this tragedy ...people alway drive to fast on this street ...also way to dark we need more light.... My heart is broke she was good person and good mother....God give strength to family and her 11 year old boy

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