2019 news

Pit Bulls, Road Rage and That Sexy Boston Accent: Most-Viewed Local Stories of 2019

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Ray Fuschetti

It's been another noteworthy year for news, and Boston and New England were no exception. Here are the 10 most-viewed stories of 2019 on NBC10Boston.com:

10. Worcester Firefighter Dies Saving Fellow Responders During Blaze: Tragedy struck on Nov. 13 when Worcester Fire Lt. Jason Menard, a 39-year-old husband and father of three, died of injuries he sustained in a heroic effort to save people from a 4-alarm blaze. His family had been scheduled to leave for a vacation to Disney World after his shift ended. His death came less than a year after the on-duty death of Worcester firefighter Christopher Roy and about one month before the 20th anniversary of the deaths of six Worcester firefighters in a warehouse blaze in December 1999.

The Worcester firefighter who gave his own life to save his comrades' was remembered at a funeral that brought thousands into the streets to pay their respects.

9. VP Pence Called Back to White House, NH Visit Canceled: Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to make an appearance in Salem, New Hampshire, on July 2 when he was abruptly called back to the White House before leaving Washington, D.C. People had already gathered at the location of his event when they were informed that there had been an "emergency call back." It was later clarified that it was a "diversion" and not an "emergency," as originally stated, but the announcement did cause some concern. The White House never revealed what was behind the last-minute cancellation, but Politico later reported that one reason was that a federal law enforcement probe involved an individual who worked at the opioid addiction treatment center that Pence had been scheduled to visit.

Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to New Hampshire was canceled Tuesday and his flight was rerouted back to Washington, DC for an unknown reason.

8. Woman Attacked by 6 Pit Bulls While Walking Dog in Taunton: On April 26, 51-year-old Rochelle Silva was attacked by six pit bulls while she was walking her dog in Taunton. She ended up in her neighbor's yard, her body over her daughter's dog, trying to protect him. A police officer who happened to be on routine patrol in the area stopped to assist her. He was able to distract the dogs by activating the sirens and air horn on his cruiser, allowing Silva to get to her feet and get into the vehicle. A good Samaritan who stopped to help was also bitten and Silva's daughter's dog died as a result of the attack. The pit bulls were seized by local animal control and later euthanized.

A woman was attacked by six pit bulls in Taunton.

7. Woman Goes Missing at Boston Bar, Eventually Located by Police: On the evening of Jan. 19, a 23-year-old woman went missing after last being seen at Hennessy's, an Irish pub near Boston's Faneuil Hall. Her family began handing out missing person posters and Boston police quickly got involved as well, releasing surveillance footage showing her leaving the bar with a man. She was eventually found several days later in the Charlestown apartment of 38-year-old Victor Pena, who went on to be indicted on charges of kidnapping and raping the woman.

A Suffolk County prosecutor detailed disturbing allegations against Victor Pena in court on Wednesday. Pena was indicted earlier this month on 10 counts of aggravated rape in connection with the January kidnapping case on which he was already being held without bail.

6. Wild Weather: It was another wild weather year in New England, beginning with a January snowstorm that brought strong winds, heavy snow and serious flooding across Greater Boston. Then in June, three tornadoes touched down on Cape Cod, causing a great deal of damage. And this winter has already seen days of school closures due to an early December nor'easter that dropped a double blast of snow on New England.

Parts of Cape Cod were struck by at least one tornado on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. There was widespread damage.

5. 11-Year-Old Charged With Murder in Shooting Death of NH Couple: On March 15, police were called to a home in Alton, New Hampshire, after a husband and wife were found shot to death. The suspect, an 11-year-old boy, was charged with murder. When police arrived at the scene, they found 50-year-old Lizette Eckert and 48-year-old James Eckert with gunshot wounds to the head. The boy was found later after he ran off into the woods. A Boston Globe report included details about when and why the Eckerts moved to New Hampshire from Maine. They reportedly moved to Alton to start over after running into financial problems. The Globe said the Lizettes had one biological child and adopted two brothers from a Russian orphanage when the boys were 2 and 4 years old. Police never revealed the shooter's identity because he was a juvenile, but the Eckerts' pastor said it was one of their adopted sons.

The deaths of a Hooksett, New Hampshire couple have been deemed homicides by the attorney general’s office.

4. RI Man Charged With Kidnapping, Killing Boston Woman: About a month after the kidnapping of a 23-year-old woman from Hennessy's in Faneuil Hall, Jassy Correia, a 23-year-old mother from Lynn, was kidnapped after leaving a Boston nightclub where she had gone to celebrate her birthday with friends. Her body was later found in Delaware in the trunk of a car belonging to Louis D. Coleman, 32, of Providence, Rhode Island, who is now facing a federal charge of kidnapping, resulting in death. The charge carries a sentence of mandatory life and also makes Coleman eligible for the death penalty, if convicted.

The man charged in connection to the disappearance and death of 23-year-old Jassy Correia made a brief appearance Monday in federal court in Boston.

3. Boston Accent Ranked Second Sexiest in America, Survey Says: In a story that drew sarcastic comments across social media, a survey run by the travel company Big 7 across its 1.5 million social media followers showed that the famous (infamous?) Boston accent was the second-sexiest accent in the country. Many on Twitter disagreed, and the story went viral as people pilloried the travel company's rankings.

2. Wild Video of Apparent Road Rage Incident on the Mass. Pike: In late January, an NBC10 Boston employee captured incredible video of a road rage incident on the Massachusetts Turnpike. The video showed an SUV driving a significant distance with a man on the hood of his vehicle. State police said the incident started with a minor sideswiping in Weston which carried over onto Interstate 90. After a verbal altercation, 65-year-old Richard Kamrowski of Framingham allegedly jumped onto a white Infiniti SUV being driven by 37-year-old Mark Fitzgerald of Lynn. Police said Fitzgerald drove "a very significant distance" with Kamrowski on the hood, slowing and accelerating when he wouldn't get off the vehicle. At times, speeds reached 70 mph. Good Samaritans eventually intervened, with one pointing a gun at the SUV to get the driver to stop. Fitzgerald and Kamrowski were both charged in connection with the incident.

Exclusive video shows an apparent road rage incident in which a motorist was driving on the Massachusetts Turnpike with a man on the hood. The incident took place on the westbound side of Interstate 90 near the exchange with Interstate 95 in Weston. State police say two vehicles had been involved in a minor sideswipe in that town.

1. Tragedy in NH as 7 Motorcyclists Are Killed in a Horrific Crash: One of the deadliest crashes in New Hampshire history left a community of motorcyclists in mourning in June. Seven people, many of them Marine veterans, were killed on the evening of June 21 when a Dodge pickup truck towing a flatbed trailer crossed into the eastbound lane and collided with a group of 10 motorcyclists, members of the Massachusetts chapter of the JarHeads Motorocycle Club. Seven of the motorcyclists died, and three others were injured. The pickup truck was driven by 23-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy from Ukraine, who now faces seven counts of negligent homicide in connection with the crash. Zhukovskyy's license should have been suspended, prompting an overhaul of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Ride for the Fallen 7: Motorcyclists ride for group killed in Randolph, NH crash
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