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Peter Simon, charged in crash that killed Waltham police officer and National Grid worker, ordered held by judge

Man charged in crash that killed police officer and National Grid worker held without bail
Man charged in crash that killed police officer and National Grid worker held without bail 04:01

WALTHAM – Peter Simon, the driver accused of killing Waltham police officer Paul Tracey and National Grid worker Roderick Jackson before fleeing in a stolen cruiser, appeared in Waltham District Court on Thursday. A judge ordered him to be held until a court hearing next week. 

Investigators spent several hours Wednesday night at multiple scenes following the deadly crash.

Simon, 54, of Woodsville, New Hampshire is being charged with failure to stop for police, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, larceny of a motor vehicle, armed robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon, two counts of manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident after causing personal injury and death. Simon pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Police said Simon tried to make a U-turn on Totten Pond Road when he hit an oncoming car. Simon allegedly then took off, hitting the 58-year-old Waltham police officer and three National Grid crew members. 

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said Simon then allegedly fled on foot and tried to get into a nearby home, telling the resident, "Police are going to kill me." He then allegedly stole a police cruiser at knifepoint, and crashed again less than a mile away before he was arrested.

Jackson, the National Grid worker, is a 36-year-old man from Cambridge.

National Grid released a statement following his death.

"With great sadness we can confirm that a National Grid team member working in our gas division died from injuries sustained after being struck by a vehicle driven by a member of the public yesterday on Totten Pond Road in Waltham," the company said. "Our immediate priority is ensuring we are doing everything we can to support this colleague's family, loved ones and his teammates. As it is an ongoing investigation we will not be commenting further at this time."

Following Tracey's death, officers from around the state lined the procession route as his body was transported to the medical examiner's office in Boston.

Tracey was a father of two children who worked at the Waltham Police Department for 28 years.

"Paul Tracey served this great city with distinction," Waltham Police Chief Kevin O'Connell said. "He was a compassionate police officer, and always looked out for the underdog. He was an amazing husband, a loving father, and a friend to all." 

"He was a tremendous husband, father, uncle and brother and loved by everybody in the community," said Tracey's brother, Jim Tracey.

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