By John R. Ellement
Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company
The man accused of driving drunk and hitting a Milton firefighter with his car this weekend wiped tears from his eyes today in Quincy District Court as a prosecutor described Antonio Pickenss injuries, which may require the amputation of one of his legs. The driver, C. W. Tolbert, 46, was charged with his third drunken driving offense and ordered held on $7,500 cash bail. According to police and prosecutors, Tolbert told investigators that he had three or four beers at his mothers home in Roxbury on Saturday night before climbing behind the wheel of a black Buick LeSabre.
Pickens, 44, was walking across Blue Hill Avenue near Atherton Street to help with a minor accident when the LeSabre struck him, police said. Tolbert told police that he did not see Pickens crossing the street in front of the firehouse. Assistant Norfolk District Attorney Michael Bradley said visibility was more than a mile on Saturday and that there was no way that Tolbert couldnt have seen the firefighter.
Defense attorney Robert Tutino described his client as a father of four who was preparing to donate a kidney to his ailing brother. “This is a tragic accident,” said Tutino, who added that Tolbert stayed at the accident scene Saturday and cooperated with investigators. Pickens, a Milton firefighter since 1995 and father of two, sustained massive injuries to his head and body. He was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he was listed Sunday night in critical condition.
In November 1999, State Police arrested Tolbert on Hillside Street near Blue Hill River Road and charged him with drunken driving, according to court documents. Trooper Megan R. Mason made the following note in her report: “While transporting the subject, he thanked me and stated that I probably kept him from getting hurt”because he admitted having had too much to drink. He pleaded guilty and was placed on probation.
Outside Quincy District Court today, Tolberts mother spoke briefly with reporters. “I am really, really upset about what happened, and I know that he is too,” Viola Tolbert said. “I am totally, totally sorry for the family and our family and everything that has happened.”