Barrington “Barry” Brinson, a seventh-grade honor roll student at the Saint Patrick School in Roxbury, died instantly Thursday morning when he was struck by a commercial van on Cambridge Street in Allston, on his way to catch an MBTA bus to school.
“This was as you can imagine, a shock not only to the family, but to the school, said the Rev. Walter Waldron, pastor of Saint Patrick’s Parish. Barry, 12, had attended the school since kindergarten and participated in several extracurricular activities.
The intersection where he was struck can be chaotic, especially during rush hour, residents said, with confusing crosswalks for pedestrians. The accident occurred at 6:47 a.m., during the busy rush hour, when dozens of schoolchildren are walking to the Jackson Mann K-8 School near the intersection of Cambridge Street and North Beacon Street.
A fire station is also at that intersection, and moments after the accident, firefighters with medical kits in hand rushed to the child. In the minutes before an ambulance arrived, firefighters attempted to revive the boy, but were unsuccessful. Barry was rushed to Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, where he was pronounced dead.
Police shut down Cambridge Street for hours as they took measurements around the white van. The boy’s backpack was in the street next to the front bumper. Police interviewed the driver, who had not been cited by Thursday night.
The name of a Holyoke company, Aegis Energy Services, was visible on the side of the van. In a brief conversation, a woman who answered the phone at the company’s office said they were waiting to get more information before commenting.
Those who are familiar with the intersection where the accident happened said it is often congested.
“The area where the accident happened is a traffic nightmare on a good day,” said Marian Fuscolda, who teaches at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, which is next to Jackson Mann. “There are cars coming this way [and] that way from all directions trying to zip through to beat the lights.”
Though there is a web of crosswalks to help pedestrians get through the busy X-shaped crossroads, many people dash across the streets at other places.
“I jaywalk all the time here, because at the lights it takes way too long; it’s just a pain,” said Madeleine Streit, who lives across the street from the fire station.
A spokeswoman for the Boston Police Department did not respond to a request for information about crashes or accidents that have occured at that intersection.
At the Saint Patrick School, Barry played basketball in the fall and had participated in an Easter play and a spring music concert.
His older brother, a freshman at Matignon High School in Cambridge, had also attended Saint Patrick.
In a letter sent to parents, principal Mary Lanata wrote that Barry’s death has shaken their community.
“Speaking on behalf of the Saint Patrick School community, I want to express our deep sadness over Barry’s death,” she wrote.
“Our Christian faith teaches us that our life on earth merely prepares us for an everlasting life with God who sent His son, Jesus, to obtain this for us. Of course, we are deeply troubled when a young man leaves our company far earlier than any of us expected.”
Lanata urged members of the school’s community to remember the family.
“We grieve for Barry’s parents and brother, who must bear this loss and the suffering that comes from his departure,” she wrote.