A 73-year-old man and his 15-year-old grandson died after a suspected drunk driver traveling on the wrong side of the road crashed into their car on Christmas night, authorities in New England said.
The teen’s grandmother was seriously injured and remained in a Providence, Rhode Island, hospital Tuesday, the Bristol County, Massachusetts, district attorney said in a statement.
The crash on the Veterans Memorial Bridge on U.S. Route 6 in Somerset, Massachusetts – a town about 20 miles east of Providence – was reported shortly after 11 p.m. Monday, state police said. State of Massachusetts in a press release.
The driver of a 2023 Land Rover registered in New York was heading east in the westbound lanes of the bridge when he collided head-on with a 2014 Infiniti QX50, police said. The teen and his grandparents were in the Infiniti, the office of District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III said in the release.
“It’s a terrible tragedy, especially when it happened on Christmas Eve,” he said. “My heart cries for the victims and their families for this terrible loss.”
Quinn identified the family members as Floriano Arruda, 73; his wife, Donna Arruda, 68; and their grandson, Jacoby Arruda, 15. All were from Seekonk, Mass., a town just outside Providence, the prosecutor’s office said.
The teen was pronounced dead Monday evening at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, Massachusetts, prosecutors said. His grandfather died Tuesday morning at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, they said.
Grandmother Donna Arruda was in critical condition at Rhode Island Hospital, the district attorney’s office said.
Two women in a 2019 Honda Accord sedan were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries after the Land Rover also struck it, state police said.
The driver of the Land Rover was identified as Adam Gauthier, 41, of New York, police and prosecutors said. He was initially treated for non-life-threatening injuries at a Providence hospital, where state troopers kept him under guard, state police said.
The prosecutor’s office said it charged Gauthier with manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol, manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol, drunk driving with serious injury , reckless driving and driving the wrong way on a highway.
It was not immediately clear whether Gauthier had retained an attorney for the case. The local public defender’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Gauthier was arraigned Tuesday at Saint Luke’s Memorial Hospital in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and was ordered held on $100,000 bail, according to the prosecutor’s statement.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled for January 9.
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