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Globe driver thought he wouldn’t survive crash

A Boston Globe delivery truck driver who survived a horrific crash when his truck was hit by an allegedly drunk driver and plummeted off Interstate 93 to an exit ramp below, told a co-worker he believes his late father was watching over him.

Paul J. Healy Jr., 35, of Brockton, was listed in fair condition Tuesday at Massachusetts General Hospital, a spokesman said.

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“He told me that his father, who also drove a truck for the Globe, was on his shoulder looking out for him,” said Michael Halley, who works night shifts at the Globe with Healy. “There is no way anyone should survive that crash. His father was definitely watching over him.”

Healy’s mother said he suffered injuries including fractured ribs, a fractured vertebrae, a bruised kidney, and several lacerations in the crash. Healy’s truck was hit, flew over a guardrail, and dropped 40 feet to the ground early Monday morning, State Police said.

“He thought he was not going to survive once he saw himself going over the guardrail,” said Jacqueline Elinoff, Healy’s mother.

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Healy’s father drove a delivery truck for the Globe before he passed away about 10 years ago, Elinoff said.

The Boston Globe delivery truck was destroyed in the crash.

Matthew J. Lee//Globe Staff

The Boston Globe delivery truck was destroyed in the crash.

Healy, or P.J. as his co-workers call him, started driving a delivery truck for the Globe approximately 13 years ago, before moving to Florida, Halley said. He returned to the job about a year-and-a-half ago. Halley said Healy is already asking when he can return to work.

“He never misses a day,” Halley said. “He’s always looking for extra work to make as much money as possible to support his family. He is a great guy to have on the team. Pretty much every time I talk to him he is talking about stuff he does with his young son.”

Healy was driving a green Globe delivery truck northbound on I-93 near the Leverett Connector shortly before 3:15 a.m. Monday when a 2006 Cadillac sedan struck his truck, State Police said. Healy’s truck landed on the ramp to the Leverett Connector at Exit 26 in Boston.

Video of the incident released by the state Department of Transportation appeared to show the sedan striking the truck from behind and pushing it over the guardrail. The truck rolled when it landed, but did not strike any other vehicles.

The driver of the Cadillac — Vivencia Bellegarde, 25, of Everett — was charged Monday with negligent operation of a motor vehicle, operating under the influence of alcohol, and operating under the influence of alcohol causing serious bodily injury, according to the office of Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley. She was also cited for a marked lanes violation.

A not guilty plea was entered on her behalf Monday at her arraignment in Boston Municipal Court, where she was ordered held on $10,000 cash bail and barred from driving or consuming alcohol if she posts that amount, Conley’s office said.

Bellegarde was found after the crash in the breakdown lane of I-93 North just before Exit 28, sitting in the passenger seat of the Cadillac, officials said. She was arrested by State Police.

“She initially denied being the operator of the vehicle,” said Renee Nadeau Algarin, a spokeswoman for Conley’s office.

Bellegarde has a lengthy history of driving infractions, including a previous drunken driving arrest in Lincoln, according to a copy of her record released by the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Her record also shows citations for not wearing a seat belt, speeding, failing to stop, and driving on a suspended license last year in New Hampshire. Her license has been suspended 10 times.

She refused a breath analysis test after Monday’s accident, triggering a six-month suspension of her license, records show.

A spokesman for the Transportation Department told the Globe Monday that the suspension would increase to three years because of her previous drunken driving arrest.

Colin A. Young can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @ColinAYoung.
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