A wheelchair-bound double amputee Vietnam veteran, who was killed Monday while crossing a Massachusetts street, reportedly helped pioneer spinal cord medicine.

Marine Corps veteran Edwin Nelson, 65, was struck and killed by a Hyundai Elantra as he tried to cross Belmont Street in his motorized wheelchair on Monday.

The Taunton Daily Gazette reports that a man claiming to be Nelson's son said that his father helped doctors pioneer spinal-cord medicine over the last 36 years.

Nelson, a father of five who lived at the the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, broke his neck in an accident in 1975, his former wife told the newspaper. The spinal cord injury led to other complications, including the amputation of both of his legs, according to the newspaper.

It's not clear if the driver of the vehicle, 26-year-old Frank Dernoga, of Taunton, Mass., will face charges.

Click for more on this story from the Taunton Daily Gazette