Just a day before he was struck and killed while walking up the sidewalk of Stamford’s Strawberry Hill Avenue Friday morning, a friend says former Dolan Middle School teacher Carmine Passero, 65, complained about how dangerous it was walking on Stamford streets.
As the investigation into Passero’s death continues, police say they will have to wait four to six weeks before the autopsy is complete before they can present their evidence of the collision to the Stamford States Attorney’s office and determine whether driver Peter Parashkevov, 58, will be prosecuted for his role in the accident.
A friend of Passero’s, Rhea Davison, says she met the former Stamford High School substitute and city life guard at the Jewish Community Center, where Passero liked to come for lunch for more than 10 years.
Davison said the two city natives got along well discussing Old Stamford –its bygone stores and streets and the people they knew.
About two months ago, Passero told Davison, 77, that he was having difficulty finding the money to fix his car and asked if she could pick him up near his apartment and take him to lunch.
She lived nearby on Grove Street and said she was happy to help and even offered to bring him home, she said. For the past two months that is exactly what they have been doing.
But on Thursday, less than a day before he was killed, as she was getting ready to drop him off by the Tully Center near his home on Strawberry Hill Avenue, she said Passero piped up about the problems he faced walking around Stamford.
“The last time I was with him driving back he said, ‘Now that I don’t have a car I realize how dangerous is to walk around the city being a pedestrian,’ and I agreed with him,” said Davison, who taught school in Stamford for 40 years.
Davison, who sees the dangers for pedestrians first-hand when she walks to the Ferguson Library library from her Grove Street home, said she has had people at the Stamford Senior Center ask her to give them a ride from the Government Center to the other side of six-lane Washington Boulevard because they were afraid to cross it on foot.
“The city has become a horror story for pedestrians,” Davison said.
As a result and with her memories of Passero still tugging at her emotions, Davison said she is organizing group within the Jewish Community Center to figure out how to engage city officials in hopes of figuring out ways to better protect pedestrians and make the city more friendly to them.
Stamford Collision Analysis and Reconstruction squad head Sgt. Andrew Gallagher said that just before 9:38 a.m. Passero was walking back to his apartment, where he lived with his sister, while drinking an iced tea he had just purchased at Dunkin’ Donuts.
While he was walking on the sidewalk while passing the driveway of an apartment building at 70 Strawberry Hill Avenue, Peter Parashkevov was edging out of the building’s driveway and struck Passero.
As a result, Passero was knocked to the ground where he sustained a severe injury to his head. He was brought by ambulance to Stamford Hospital and admitted to the critical care unit but died early that same afternoon.
Gallagher said the state could file charges against Parashkevov for not yielding the right of way to Passero and if Parashkevov’s actions were shown to have a disregard for Passero’s life, the state could file a negligent homicide charge. Gallagher said it was too early to tell what the state will want to do with the case of if any charges will be filed at all.