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Witness calls for improvements after two pedestrians struck in Windsor Locks

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WINDSOR LOCKS --  Patty Gamache was driving with two of her children on Route 75 in Windsor Locks Wednesay night when they noticed 30-year-old Jessica Gelebert on the ground surrounded by people.

“She couldn’t get up,” Gamache said. “It looks like her leg was broken. She was in shock.”

Gelebert had just left Friendly’s restaurant on Route 75 and was crossing the road around 10 p.m., when she was struck by 64-year-old Michael Mangeri of Windsor Locks according to Windsor Locks police.

Lieutenant Paul Cherniack told FOX61 News that Mangeri had gotten out of his Chevy Cruz and was attempting to help Gelebert, when he was struck by another vehicle driven by 30-year-old Brian Root of Agawam.

“Exited his own car to go check on her and subsequently was hit from the behind by a second vehicle which led to him being killed in the accident,” Cherniack said.

Gamache said her daughter rushed over to help Mangeri and remained with him as he lay on the ground dying.

“She stayed with him until the first responders came, so he was not alone,” Gamache said.

All three people involved in both accidents were taken to the hospital where Mangeri was pronounced dead and Gelebert was treated for a broken leg. Police said Root was transported to the hospital for symptoms of shock

Since 2005, there have been over 1,000 car accidents along that area of Route 75, according to Windsor Locks police.

At least half a dozen of those accidents were fatal, including two pedestrian accidents involving people crossing the road similar to the way Gelebert was crossing the road when she was struck.

“About 1,100,” said Cherniack. “50 to 60 of those involved injuries serious enough to be transported by ambulance.”

“There’s no crosswalks,” Gamache said. “There’s no safety buttons to cross. There’s no extra late. There’s no sidewalks.”

There is also a heavy amount of traffic from Bradly International Airport just down the road.

“It’s not desolate,” Cherniack said. “You have to be aware and have a hyper sensitive situational awareness around you as to what’s going on.”

Gamache is hoping the tragedy serves as a wake-up call for officials to make improvements on the road.

“Let’s represent our state in a way that shows we care about our citizens in our visitors,” Gamache said.

Windsor Locks police said the investigation into both accidents is on-going. They have not provided any information about potential charges at this time.

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