Local doctor dies after being hit by truck
Pallav K. Parakh of Hatfield has died as a result of injuries he suffered when he was struck by a truck in downtown Northampton Oct. 31.
First District Attorney Steven E. Gagne said Tuesday afternoon that Pallav K. Parakh, 35, of 6 Bridge St., died within the last 72 hours. He said “life-sustaining measures” had been in place due to the head injury Parakh suffered in the accident, but he could not say whether he died of his injuries or had been taken off life support.
Parakh, a doctor at Baystate Medical Practices Greenfield Gastroenterology, leaves behind a wife, Shweta, and daughter Anoushka.
At 4:42 p.m. on Halloween, Parakh was walking alone in a crosswalk on New South Street by the west entrance of Pulaski Park, behind the Academy of Music, when he was struck by a pickup truck driven by Derek J. Graves, 25, of 174 East St., Chesterfield.
Gagne said charges have not been filed against Graves, but the district attorney’s office is still working with the Northampton Police Department’s accident reconstruction team to determine details surrounding the accident that could lead to charges.
He said Parakh’s death could change the severity of potential charges. “It could have been a charge of negligent operation of a motor vehicle, but now it could be negligent motor vehicle homicide,” he said.
He said the investigation is focusing on “Mr. Graves’ driving, the level of care he used.” Northampton police are still trying to determine if speed was a factor, he said.
Not being able to get testimony from Parakh also affects the investigation, Gagne said.
“We will make a decision about charges as soon as we have all the information we need,” he said.
Parakh’s daughter is a student at the Smith College Center for Early Childhood Education, commonly called Fort Hill. Director Martha Lees sent an email message to the parents of students Tuesday at 10:27 a.m. informing them that Parakh was in critical condition, followed by a 1:10 p.m. email stating that he had died.
“Our thoughts are with him, Anoushka, his wife Shweta and his extended family,” she wrote.
Rebecca Everett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.