Struck in Edgartown crosswalk, woman is in critical condition

Edgartown police and members of the State Police accident reconstruction team returned to the crosswalk Monday to examine the scene of the accident at night. Left to right: Edgartown Police officer Nick Phelps, Troopers O' Hara and Klane. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Updated 3:30 pm, Tuesday

Patricia Guarch, 22, of Coral Gables, Florida is in critical condition in a Boston hospital after being struck by a car while crossing Upper Main Street in Edgartown Saturday night.

The young woman was walking with friends on her way to the Dairy Queen, opposite the Stop and Shop. She was in a crosswalk when she was hit, according to friends.

Edgartown Police identified the driver as Dr. Robert Franklin, 85, of Vineyard Haven. Mr. Franklin is a pediatrician who continues to practice medicine on a limited basis.

Police cited Dr. Franklin for failure to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk and speeding. Other charges may follow pending the results of an ongoing investigation.

Dr. Franklin was driving outbound on Upper Main Street with his wife and daughter in his 2010 Subaru Outback. He said that three people appeared in the crosswalk, according to a preliminary police report. Mr. Franklin said that when he struck the victim she landed on the hood of his vehicle.

He decided that if he slammed on his brakes she would be projected through the air from the hood of the vehicle so he tried to slowly brake, police said, and as he did she fell off the hood.

Ms. Guarch was transported by ambulance to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. She was later transported by MedFlight to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where she is listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Edgartown rescue personnel responded, and police detoured traffic around the normally busy roadway.

The State Police accident reconstruction team arrived on Martha’s Vineyard at noon Sunday to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident. As a result, police detoured traffic around the crosswalk on Upper Main Street.

The accident reconstruction team returned to the Island Monday in order to view the accident scene at night.

Ms. Guarch, a recent graduate of New York University, is a summer staff member with the Vineyard Arts Project, a performing arts residency program with studios located on Upper Main Street.

In a telephone conversation Sunday evening, Ashley Melone, Vineyard Arts Project founder and artistic director, said Ms. Guarch is a talented writer, visual artist and designer who has spent the past few summers working at the project.

“She is a wonderful, beautiful, young woman,” Ms. Melone said. “She is incredibly helpful and has been an integral part of our creative team for the past two summers, so it was really devastating last night.”

Ms. Melone said Ms. Guarch stays with her family in Edgartown. She said Ms. Guarch was walking with a few of the artists who are in residence. “We had just finished a performance around 9 pm, and they were walking to get some ice cream when it happened.”

An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Dr. Franklin will be issued a summons to appear in court on a charge of negligent operation of a motor vehicle.