Burlington women struck by car in crosswalk recovering from critical injuries

BURLINGTON, Mass. — Two Burlington women who were struck by a car in a crosswalk last month are home recovering from critical injuries while urging drivers to be cautious.

Dawn Mooney, 42, and Maura Gildea, 33, who are future sisters-in-law and live together, were returning home from a Sunday morning walk on June 5, when a car hit them while they were crossing at Francis Wyman Road and Cedar Street.

The women were sent airborne and suffered brain injuries and multiple broken bones. They were rushed to Lahey Hospital in critical condition.

Mooney broke her shoulder, seven ribs, both hips, three vertebrae and her sacrum – a bone at the base of the spine. She was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury by the end of her three- to four-week hospital stay.

Gildea suffered two brain bleeds, a broken wrist requiring surgery for a plate, the same fractures as Mooney to her vertebrae and sacrum and a large gash to her side.

“I know that it could’ve been different. We definitely had angels on our shoulders that day,” Mooney said. “I have a son. So, just the fact that I can still be here for him, because I can’t even fathom leaving him so soon, I’m really grateful to be here.”

While the women have no memory of the accident or even being in the crosswalk, Mooney said they later learned the driver was distracted.

“The person who hit us was leaning over to pick up something on her passenger floor, so clearly wasn’t paying attention to the road,” Mooney said.

Burlington police said the driver, a 47-year-old Billerica woman, is set to appear in court next month on charges of negligent operation of a motor vehicle, unsafe operation of a motor vehicle and crosswalk violations. Police declined to comment on details of the crash as it is still under investigation.

Gildea said their accident should be a warning for other drivers.

“Be aware, because it’s really not worth it to look down, say, your phone, or to get something off the floor,” Gildea said. “It’s not worth it. You never know who’s around the corner.”

Mooney has returned to work, grateful to go back to her normal routine as she recovers.

Gildea had planned to take her standardized exam to go to nursing school during what would end up being her hospital stay. She is also now recovering at home, grateful for her community’s support.

“It makes it so much easier to heal knowing you have so many people that support you and have your back,” Gildea said. “It’s amazing.

Generous donors have raised tens of thousands of dollars to cover the women’s medical expenses through two GoFundMe fundraisers, as well as community events.

Local charity Burlington Womenade held a pool party and cornhole tournament last weekend, raising $4,500 for the women.

The non-profit, which has raised $215,000 and helped 205 families in need since 2011, is continuing to fundraise for Mooney and Gildea.

Donations can be made via Venmo @Burlington-Womenade or by using the Donate button on burlingtonmawomenade.org.

Burlington Womenade is also planning another fundraiser at the Friendly Toast on Aug. 26, from 4 to 9 p.m., with 20 percent of sales and a 50/50 raffle benefiting the women.

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