Investigators Look for Witnesses in Death of Attorney Who Was Killed After Crowbar Went Through Windshield

Spencer police say a crowbar was either kicked-up or fell from another vehicle, striking John Madaio in the head

What to Know

  • Defense attorney John Madaio, was driving along Route 9 when a crowbar crashed through his window.
  • The crowbar struck Madaio's windshield and hit him in the head, causing his SUV to leave the road.
  • Investigators are working to determine whether the crowbar was already on the road or if it went flying from another car.

Police are searching for any witnesses who have information on the death of a well-known attorney who was killed when a crowbar came flying into the windshield of his car.

John Madaio, 63, of Paxton, Massachusetts, was killed Monday while traveling on Route 9 in Spencer. He was driving into a condominium parking lot soon after he left the East Brookfield Courthouse.

The crowbar struck Madaio in the head and caused his SUV to swerve off the road. The vehicle then hit a curb, a parked car and stopped after it hit an embankment. Madaio was taken to Harrington Hospital, where he died.

"We always hear about accidents on Route 49 but not right here in our own driveways," said Roy Bellair, who lives in the condo complex. "I mean, it's a shock.”

Longtime friend and fellow attorney, Peter Ettenberg, was in court with Madaio shortly before the fatal crash.

"I sat and talked to him for about 15 minutes," he said. "We were sitting next to each other. He left 10 minutes before me. This could have happened to me. It’s such a terrible, terrible tragedy."

Madaio is survived by his wife and two daughters.

His family issued a statement regarding the tragedy:

"We are deeply saddened to share that we lost our wonderful, loving husband and father this morning in a tragic accident. John was a beloved friend, colleague, family man and a devoted member of the Worcester County Bar. He will be deeply missed by so many."

Madaio is remembered for being a devoted father and well-respected member of the Worcester District Attorney’s office for more than 15 years.

"He was a dedicated family man, very hardworking lawyer, dedicated to his clients... just really a down to earth man," said Ettenberg.

Officials are continuing their investigation as they determine whether the crowbar was on the road already or if it went flying from another vehicle.

Police urge anyone who has information on the crash to contact the Spencer Police Department at 508-885-6333.

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