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Woman Allegedly Struck By Chatham Driver Dies

Witnesses say Owen Flannery, 56, was on his way to pick up his son.

SUMMIT–Cynthia Pelham-Webb died after being struck by an SUV as she crossed the street near Summit train station on Wednesday night. She was pulled from underneath the vehicle and rushed to Morristown Medical Center where she succumbed to her injuries, according to officials.

Police say the vehicle was driven by Owen Flannery, 56, of Chatham who was traveling in the direction of the train station entrance. Witnesses said Flannery was on his way to pick up his son who had come home from attending private school. Flannery was taken to Summit police headquarters for questioning after the accident. 

Pelham-Webb, 61, of Short Hills worked for a consulting firm just a few doors from the scene of the accident. She was on her way to her car which was parked in the vicinity of Union Place near Maple Street. Just after 6 p.m., while crossing Union she was hit by a 2005 Nissan Xterra as it was rounding the corner.

"We are incredibly distraught," said Steve Schrenzel, who worked with Webb at The Governance Group on Union Place. Pelham-Webb had been with the firm for 17 years. 

The victim had "a lot of internal injuries," according to Rick Locke, a battalion chief for the . Locke said that when first responders arrived they say a woman under the SUV, with her body positioned between the front and rear wheels. 

“We were set up to lift the car with airbags, but instead used smaller hydraulic tools to lift the vehicle on the side where she was,” he said.

The victim, who was alive when she was pulled from under the vehicle, was rushed to Morristown Medical Center, according to Sgt. David Ritchel who conducted the on-scene investigation along with Officer Sam Rutkowski who handled accident reconstruction.

Mayor Jordan Glatt came over to the scene and talked to authorities and emergency officials.

“It’s upsetting," he said. "In my years as mayor, we’ve had ."

Glatt was on his way to dinner in downtown Summit when he got a call from Police Chief Robert Weck at 7:38p.m. telling him of the accident. Glatt said it was city procedure for him to get a phone call when there were serious accidents.

A server at , on the opposite corner of the accident location didn't see what happened, but said a woman ran into the cafe and asked that someone call 911. The employee, who didn't want to give his name,  said he dialed police at 6:16 p.m. Rescue vehicles arrived shortly thereafter.

As of Wednesday night, no charges had been filed, but the vehicle was impounded. An investigation is ongoing.

llbxy December 23, 2011 at 12:43 AM
Morristown is a regional trauma center and is better equipped for victims of severe accidents.
Patrizia Giassa December 23, 2011 at 12:16 PM
Omg that is so awful. People, drivers and pedestrians both, please be careful and alert.
Jennifer December 23, 2011 at 05:58 PM
I see so many people wearing all black crossing without looking in that area every night Pedestrians have the right is way but have a responsibility to also to pay attention and be smart. It's so sad for something like this to happen.
middle schooler December 23, 2011 at 11:14 PM
Yes! If someone is dressed in all black, dark colors, or doesnt pay attention then the driver should have the right of way. Which all depends on the siturion.
Ellen December 28, 2011 at 02:01 AM
THAT'S why we don't let middle schoolers drive....

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