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MA man may have passed out due to heroin in fatal accident

Easthampton police said a man, 45, is in custody after allegedly hitting a motorcycle while impaired by drugs and killing its riders on Aug. 28. According to a representative of the Northampton District Court, the man faces charges of felony homicide in relation to the crash. He is being held on bail of $100,000.

The accident happened on Route 5 in Easthampton around 3:15 p.m. when the Springfield man, according to police, passed out while driving. Court records said he had used heroin prior to driving. The man swerved into traffic and hit a motorcycle with father and daughter on board. A passenger in the man's van was charged by police with heroin possession and is also in custody on bail of $2,500. The van driver was uninjured in the accident and pleaded not guilty. Additional charges may be filed, police said.

In Massachusetts, if a motorist kills someone while driving impaired, they may be charged with homicide, as in this case. If the driver is convicted, he faces a mandatory one-year minimum in jail before parole eligibility. A fine of $1,000 may be levied.

OUI charges with drugs are serious in Massachusetts, and a driver, in a case similar to this, may benefit from consulting with an attorney. Passing out while driving may be due to drugs, but it might happen for many reasons. An attorney may arrange for an individual to be evaluated medically. Blood tests are often conducted when an accident happens. If this is not performed according to a rigid protocol, the attorney may challenge the results. The attorney may also arrange for a plea deal to lower penalties and fines.

Source: Mass Live, "Easthampton police: James Ainsworth of Springfield charged with motor vehicle homicide in double-fatal route 5 crash", George Graham, August 29, 2014

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