Pedestrian struck, seriously hurt at Five Corners

A woman was seriously injured Monday night when a pickup truck driver struck her in a crosswalk at Five Corners in Tisbury. — Rich Saltzberg

Updated 1/26

A pedestrian using a crosswalk at Five Corners in Vineyard Haven was struck by a pickup truck Monday at around 9:30 pm. The pedestrian, a woman in her late 50s whom police did not name, was struck by a motorist distracted by a popcorn bag, according to Tisbury Police Chief Chris Habekost and a press release.

The woman was taken to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and airlifted, though her condition is not known.

Jao Vitor Goncalves de Oliveira, 22, told police he had just exited Cumberland Farms and was allegedly munching from a bag of popcorn which he looked down at just before striking the pedestrian. 

A narrative of the police response described by Sgt. Jeff Day as a “redacted report summary” states that de Oliveira “started to eat the popcorn as he traveled out of the Post Office lot at the southeast side.”

A video of the incident posted on social media shows de Oliveira stop his pickup truck at the end of Lagoon Pond Road and then enter the intersection at Five Corners, striking the woman, who was in the crosswalk. The driver told police “he lost control of his popcorn bag, and momentarily took his eyes off the road and became distracted when he looked down to locate the bag,” the release states. “When he looked up he saw a figure in an orange reflective jacket as his truck struck the pedestrian.”

While the police release states that de Oliveira attempted to help the woman, a video shows him moving his truck into the Cumberland Farms parking lot. Meanwhile, another motorist who came on the scene nearly struck the woman, but stopped.

Police reported that de Oliveira showed “no signs of impairment,” and officers found no alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs in his vehicle. “Goncalves de Oliveira was very apologetic, and inquired several times about the condition of the woman.” His estimated speed at impact was 7 to 10 mph.

According to the press release, de Oliveira was licensed, and his 2003 Dodge pickup was registered and insured.

The woman he hit was seriously injured, according to Tisbury Fire Chief Greg Leland. She was transported to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital by Tisbury EMS, and was airlifted from the Vineyard, Chief Leland said. Chief Habekost said the motorist received two civil citations — impeded operation of a motor vehicle, and failure to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Contrary to what video footage may imply, Chief Habekost said, the incident wasn’t a hit and run. The motorist parked his pickup at Cumberland Farms and remained at the scene, Chief Habekost said.

Chief Habekost said it “looks like a complete accident,” but an accident that is also indicative of improper behavior behind the wheel. Chief Habekost described the accident as an example of widespread distracted driving plaguing the Vineyard these days — ”a very dangerous thing,” he said. 

According to police, as of Tuesday evening, all attempts to reach the woman’s family have been unsuccessful. 

Updated with more details -Ed.


  1. If it was at all dark out it’s impossible to see if anyone is crossing in the crosswalk there. The crosswalks are barely visible because of lack of maintenance even in daylight, but there is not a hint of decent lighting when it gets dark or just dusk. There should be the kind of lights like the ones at the Oak Bluffs bridge on the beach side – you press a button and the lights flash very brightly while you cross. Who’s responsibility is this?
    I hope the pedestrian recovers fully.

    • I agree, it is dark there but she was wearing an orange and yellow safety vest! I do however agree that intersection is very dangerous for a pedestrian and blinking lights warning a pedestrian is crossing would be very helpful.

  2. I do hope the pedestrian is ok. I also wanted to add that the driver hit her, backed up the truck, left her lying in the middle of the road without checking on her then drove to Cumby’s to park. Another driver almost drove over her but luckily the 2nd driver was paying attention and stopped to help her. I don’t understand why the driver who hit her didn’t get out of the vehicle immediately to check on her and protect her from other approaching vehicles.

    • Alison– I totally agree. The driver left the scene and returned. He basically left her for dead lying in the roadway in the middle of a busy dark intersection. That’s how it seems from the way the article is written Perhaps the Times could clarify this point.

  3. Instead of trying to be ‘ folksy’ and constantly bringing up a ‘popcorn bag’ like it’s quaint or funny to readers, let us know how to help this woman out. Better yet, why don’t you get quaint and funny about HOW ALL OF OUR CELLPHONE SERVICE HAS GONE TO THE DOGS. It’s gone full 2010 or something ! 5G ? HOW ABOUT D+ ! Where is the groundbreaking story ? Lemme guess , the companys shell out $$$ to the paper or to someone in charge. The popcorn bag does nothing to help this story . We rely on our paper to write about and investigate real news that affects MV’rs. I’d be happy to send some money to the woman airlifted . The reporter could’ve put something in the paper for her. Instead all I know is a lady was hit , and the really important bag. Now you know why they call bad music or art POPCORN . INVESTIGATE THE PHONE SERVICE ISSUE PLEASE !!! Or do an in depth, dire warning analysis of what will MV look like in 5 yrs when all the service workers( any workers!)have left bcuz the rentals are all gone . That affects every single business on the island YUUUUUGE. THATS A BLOCKBUSTER CINEPLEX 3D MOVIE OPENING WKND YUGE $50 ‘ POPCORN’ BAG W/EXTRA BUTTER SIZE STORY RIGHT THERE. Hate to write this but I was hoping the person was ok. No info on anything but a thrice referenced popcorn bag. Did you want Cumbies to stop with all the popcorn sales ???

    • The police have not released the woman’s name and have had difficulty reaching her family, which is in the story.

    • Richard– if you have a problem with your phone service, call your phone company– they have boosters that they will often give you for free.
      And are you suggesting that the phone company is paying off the editor of the paper to not run a story about poor cell phone service ? I know conspiracy theories about nearly everything are popular right now, But come on….

    • Your cellphone service has gone to the dogs because too many people want cellphone service and too many people do not want cell phone towers.

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