On Tuesday, November 25, 2008, a pedestrian was struck and killed in a motor vehicle accident, which occurred around 7:00 p.m. in Beverly, Massachusetts, north of Boston. The driver was a 37 year old Beverly resident, whom the police described as drowsy and “droopy-eyed” at the time of his arrest in his home, which was less than a mile away from the scene of the accident. Using a broken side mirror found at the scene of the accident, the police were able to identify the vehicle as a Ford Taurus, which it turned out had just backed into another car at a different location. Witnesses there were able to identify the car and provide a license number, and went to the driver’s residence. The driver was charged with driving while under the influence of drugs, leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury or death resulting, and speeding, as well as leaving the scene of another accident moments before the fatal crash. It is expected that he will later also be charged with vehicular homicide.
According to his attorney, the driver regularly takes five different medications, including anti-psychotics, anti-depressants and tranquilizers. He suffers from several conditions, including attention deficit disorder and is taking five different psychiatric medications, including lithium, Klonopin, Paxil, Topamax and Zyprexa. A Marblehead police officer, allegedly trained as a drug recognition expert, apparently conducted several sobriety tests on the driver and concluded that he was under the influence of drugs.
The driver has a long history of motor vehicle accidents, including six accidents in which he was deemed at least 50 percent at fault or caused in excess of $1,000 in damage. One was as recent as August. His driving history includes prior license suspensions for multiple traffic violations, a charge of providing alcohol to a minor. He was also previously had seven moving violations and at-fault accidents in a three-year period, including speeding, going the wrong way on a one-way street and improper passing.