Milford man killed in scooter crash
UPDATE: Services are planned for Walter Kiernan, who was killed in a scooter accident Tuesday.
According to the Gregory F. Doyle website, friends and family may call on Monday, July 1st from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm in The Gregory F. Doyle Funeral Home, 291 Bridgeport Avenue, Milford. A Funeral Service will be held in the funeral home on Tuesday July 2nd at 10:00 am. Interment will be private.
A 22-year-old Milford man was killed in a crash on Bridgeport Avenue early Tuesday.
Walter Kiernan was operating a motor scooter that collided with an SUV shortly after midnight, at the intersection of Bridgeport Avenue and the Boston Post Road, near the entrance to the Silver Sands Stop & Shop.
Kiernan was pronounced dead at the scene by Milford Fire Department personnel.
Police Spokesman Mike Devito said Tuesday that the accident is still under investigation and that no charges have been filed and no arrests are pending.
The driver and passengers in the SUV were not injured. Devito said they remained on the scene as emergency personnel and police arrived.
Kiernan, a graduate of Jonathan Law High School, was described as a nice guy who was very well liked.
“I knew Walter well,” said Principal Fran Thompson of Jonathan Law High School, where Kiernan graduated. “He was a really good guy — kind and friendly toward everyone. After he graduated, I always enjoyed running into him and catching up on how he was doing. ... he will be missed.”
A Facebook post on Tuesday noted Kiernan’s musical skills and said he was a member of a local band.
“You [were] such an amazing musician,” read a posting attributed to Jimmy Barbetti. “... your bass playing will forever live on in our songs.”
Kiernan worked for Stevens Ford of Milford, where a spokesman said the company is grieving his loss.
Police said Kiernan was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, but he was not legally required to do so. The motor scooter he was driving was under 49cc, so it did not have to be registered. The only thing needed to make the bike street legal was a driver’s license, which Kiernan had.
There have been 1,146 crashes in the state involving scooters and mopeds since 2015, according to the University of Connecticut Crash Data Repository. Fourteen of those were fatal.
“Since the beginning of the year, there have been eight motorcycle fatalities and one scooter fatality statewide,” said Fran Mayko, an AAA spokesperson, who speculated those numbers might be higher if police filings are not up to date.
In June of 2018, Vincent “TJ” Annuzzi-Rivera, 19, of Bridgeport died riding a dirt bike on Lori Drive in Milford, after he struck a parked dump truck.
Devito said driving motor scooters on the road is no more or less dangerous than riding a bicycle or walking on the street.
“You have to share the roadways,” Devito said, “but obviously there’s zero protection. It’s just not that much different than riding a bike.”
Mayko said scooter accidents are usually caused by driver error, but sometimes the visible profile of the scooter and driver is so narrow that the other driver doesn’t see the scooter.
“Without knowing the details, the best thing riders can do is take a refresher motorcycle class,” Mayko said, adding that classes are offered throughout the state and listed on the state Department of Transportation website.
The investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Milford Police Department Traffic Division at 203-878-5244.