DA: Police officer, utility worker killed, 2 other workers hurt in Waltham crash

Local News

A suspect was taken into custody after a foot chase, according to state police.

Nathan Klima for The Boston Globe

A Waltham police officer and a National Grid worker were killed and two other workers were injured when they were struck by a vehicle at a work site in the city on Wednesday.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Waltham Chief of Police Kevin O’Connell confirmed in a news conference Wednesday night that 58-year-old Waltham Police Officer Paul Tracey was killed in the crash that occurred Wednesday afternoon on Totten Pond Road in Waltham.

A National Grid worker was also killed in the crash, identified by Ryan only as a 36-year-old Cambridge man.

“At approximately 4:00 p.m. today, Peter Simon, 54 of Woodsville, NH was operating a pickup truck eastbound on Totten Pond Road in Waltham when he pulled to the side of the road and suddenly turned back into the roadway in an attempt to execute a U-turn,” a statement from Ryan’s office reads. “He struck a vehicle traveling eastbound, then continued driving forward for approximately a quarter mile before fatally striking Waltham Police Officer Paul Tracey, 58 of Waltham and the utility worker, a 36-year-old Cambridge man.  Officer Tracey was working a police detail at a National Grid work site at the time of the crash. In addition to the 36-year-old worker, two other National Grid employees were injured.  One of those employees was also transported to the hospital where he was treated and released.

“After striking the victims the suspect continued on, striking multiple other vehicles before abandoning his truck and fleeing on foot. The suspect encountered another Waltham officer who had responded to the scene, and allegedly pulled a knife on the officer before stealing his police cruiser and again fleeing.  The suspect crashed the cruiser on Winter Street, and fled once again.  He was apprehended and arrested by a Waltham Police Officer after a brief foot chase.

Simon has been charged with two counts of manslaughter and armed robbery, according to the statement. He is due to be arraigned Thursday in Waltham District Court.