Arraignment held for man accused of crashing into motorcyclists in Northfield
GREENFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A Rhode Island man charged with driving under influence and allegedly crashing into a group of motorcyclists and endangering two children in his car appeared in court on Tuesday.
Ryan O’Farrell faced a judge in Greenfield District Court for his arraignment. The prosecutor described the details of what investigators have learned, including what the children in the back seat of the car had to say.
O’Farrell is facing charges in connection to a crash from Sunday. Nine people were seriously injured when police allege O’Farrell crossed over the double yellow line on Main Street in Northfield and hit five motorcyclists. Those riders were a group of Connecticut firefighters. Some of them are suffering from broken bones and other are suffering serious injuries.
“To the extent, in at least one case, there are considerations of amputation at this point…One person had a pelvic break. There’s another person that is in and out of consciousness right now,” said Jeremy Bucci, chief trial counsel for the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors said O’Farrell admitted to taking multiple prescribed medications before getting behind the wheel.
“One for opioid addiction, suboxone, two psychological drugs. It should be noted that all three of those prescribed medications have a warning on them that it causes fatigue and sleepiness as a side effect,” Bucci added.
Investigators said in the back seat of the car were two children. They said one child warned O’Farrell that his driving seemed dangerous.
“He was warned by the children that he appeared to be operating erratically, going over the double yellow line several times during the ride. Just prior to the collision, it’s alleged that the defendant closed his eyes as he appeared to be under the influence of something,” Bucci noted.
His license was already revoked in Connecticut, prosecutors said. Therefore, he shouldn’t have been driving by law on Sunday.
The judge granted the prosecution’s request for a dangerousness hearing, which is scheduled for the end of June.
There was no update to the victim’s conditions on Tuesday other than some remain in critical condition.
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