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Questions Raised After Police Fail to Spot Body After Fatal Crash in Canton

Police continue to investigate a deadly Christmas Eve crash in Canton, Massachusetts, where authorities say the victim's body went undiscovered for about an hour.

Police said Wednesday that officers responding to the scene found an unoccupied vehicle on Meadows Avenue and thought the driver may have fled.

"In the morning on Monday around 5 a.m., we heard a huge bang," said neighbor Brendan Rooney. "My wife thought someone came and fell down the stairs."

Some neighbors told NBC10 Boston that they came out to check if everything was OK and realized there was no driver in the car. A search began but officers, neighbors, a tow truck driver, and public works employees all failed to spot the body. Police later said he was wearing dark clothing, motionless and it was still dark out.

Authorities said earlier, the same driver was reported to have sideswiped a car.

"When I got up for work, I didn't see anything, just a little debris and stuff in the road," said Rooney.

But an hour after the scene was cleared, a passerby located the body of a man just feet from the crash, one yard away.

The passerby called the police to say a man was sleeping in someone’s front yard, but it was the deceased driver who had suffered trauma to the head.

"It's unfortunate, a young kid, Christmas Eve. This road is kind of a speedway. It's unfortunate. Hopefully, the family can find peace with it," said Rooney.

Canton Police released a statement saying that even if they had found the body earlier, the man would not have survived.

"Although we wish we located him earlier, we do not believe it would have changed the outcome at all," read a partial statement from police.

The victim was a 30-year-old man from Dedham, but his name has not been released.

While the cause of the crash remains under investigation, neighbors are still wondering why it happened in the first place.

"I haven’t heard much about it," said Rooney.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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