Lowell police officer charged in fatal crash
METHUEN, Mass. (AP) — An off-duty Lowell police officer faces charges including motor vehicle homicide and drunken driving following an accident early Saturday that killed another man.
A Land Rover driven by Eric Wayne, 41, apparently crossed a dividing line on Riverside Drive, also known as Route 110, and collided with a car traveling in the opposite direction, Methuen police said in a statement.
The driver of the second car, Briant Paula, 26, of Lawrence, was trapped in the wreckage. Emergency crews cut him free, but Paula was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Wayne refused medical treatment and was arrested at the scene. He was charged with motor vehicle homicide under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation and having an open container of alcohol, police said.
Wayne was ordered held on $500,000 bail pending his arraignment Monday in Lawrence District Court, said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, a spokeswoman for the Essex District Attorney's office.
A telephone listing for Wayne could not be located and it was not immediately known if he had retained an attorney.
The Lowell Sun reported Saturday that Wayne was arrested on a drunken driving charge on July 4, 2013, and his license was suspended for 180 days after he refused to take a blood-alcohol test.
Police Superintendent William Taylor told the newspaper that Wayne was placed on paid administrative leave after the previous arrest but was reinstated to the force in June. The court case stemming from that incident is still pending.
Wayne is also an amateur boxer who made a cameo appearance in "The Fighter," a 2010 film about Lowell boxer Mickey Ward.
The Boston Globe reported that Wayne ran in the Boston Marathon in April after meeting one of the victims seriously injured in the 2013 bombing at the marathon finish line.Associated Press