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Bristol DA won’t pursue criminal charges against Somerset officer involved in fatal crash

Bristol County prosecutors won’t pursue criminal charges against a Somerset police officer who was involved in a fatal crash last summer while responding to a break-in call, District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III’s office said.

But while they won’t seek charges in the crash that killed 20-year-old Hailey Allard, prosecutors have recommended that the Police Department “review its policies and procedures regarding police responses to calls for service,” Quinn’s office said in a statement.

According to authorities, Allard, of Somerset, was driving a 1999 Honda Civic when it collided with a police cruiser, a 2016 Ford Explorer, around 12:35 a.m. on Aug. 10, 2018 as she was negotiating a left-hand turn off Route 138.


The driver of the cruiser, Officer Jonathan Neveu, was rushing to investigate a report that a man was attempting to break into a truck parked at the Gridiron Pub on Slades Ferry Avenue, according to police.

State Police said Allard was driving north on Route 138 — also known as Riverside Avenue — and was approaching the turn at the intersection with Westhill Avenue when the vehicles collided. Allard was later pronounced dead at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River.

Allard, a nursing student at UMass-Dartmouth at the time of her death, had worked as dietary aide at Charlton, according to her obituary.

Neveu suffered injuries that weren’t life threatening. A police spokesman said Friday that Neveu is currently on active duty.

“Our office, along with the Massachusetts State Police, has fully investigated this matter,” said Quinn’s spokesman Gregg Miliote in a statement. “We have determined that no charges are warranted in this case. We met with the Allard family to review the case, and discuss our findings and conclusions with them.”

Miliote said that when prosecutors met with Allard’s family, “they told us they understood the basis of our decision that charges are not appropriate in the tragic death of their daughter. Additionally, we have spoken with the Chief of the Somerset Police Department regarding this tragic incident to inform him of the outcome of the investigation. Our office has recommended to the chief that his department review its policies and procedures regarding police responses to calls for service.”


Attempts to reach Allard’s parents for comment weren’t successful on Friday afternoon.

Somerset police Chief George M. McNeil said in a separate statement that he’s agreed to do review the response protocols.

“I have been notified of the outcome of the District Attorney’s investigation into the tragic death of Hailey Allard,” McNeil said. “I would like to thank the district attorney’s office for their full and complete investigation into this tragic incident. At the request of the district attorney, I will conduct a review of our policies and procedures regarding police responses to calls for service.”

McNeil had said soon after the crash that Neveu sustained injuries to his head and neck and was “physically okay.”

“I’m sure he’s not emotionally okay,” McNeil said at the time. “Anything that happens like that is just devastating. In the future, it’s always going to be in the back of your mind.”

According to Allard’s obituary, she had her sights set on a career in pediatric nursing.

“Hailey was determined to have a positive impact on the world,” the obituary said. “ ... Recently she had even started a ‘GoFundMe’ page online to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”


In a statement soon after her death, Allard’s family described the crash as “a complete and utter tragedy.”

“Hailey was an exceptional young woman who was full of life and energy,” the statement said. “Her smile was infectious and brightened everyone’s day.”

Allard, her relatives said in the statement, “loved her family with all her heart, especially her two younger brothers. Her mother and father cannot express the heaviness in their hearts and the pain they will carry forever.”

John R. Ellement of the Globe Staff and former Globe Correspondent Thomas Oide contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.