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Massachusetts family devastated by fatal car crash

They are grown men, but forever the children of the man who served for years as a popular teacher and coach at Middleborough High School about 40 miles south of Boston.

As they entered a Wareham District courtroom earlier this week, the three men linked arms, tears streaming from their eyes. They were about to see the man accused of driving while intoxicated in a fatal car crash that took the life of their father.

The 20-year-old defendant faces motor vehicle homicide charges. Police say he was intoxicated when he ran a red light while speeding on Route 44 this past Saturday night. His Saab collided at about 70 mph with a Mercury driven by the 61-year-old victim.

Law enforcement officials believe the 20-year-old might have been racing friends at the time of the 9 p.m. crash.

The three brothers who lost their father in the accident weren't the only ones with tears in their eyes in the courtroom that day.

The father of the defendant was also there and also emotional as he watched his only child be accused of homicide.

"It's absolutely horrible," he said later of the fatal crash. "I know the family."

Witnesses said the defendant went snowboarding earlier in the day, then allegedly went driving around Middleborough in a friend's car, "smoking marijuana."

After returning home, witnesses say he borrowed his mother's 2007 Saab and followed a friend's vehicle out to Route 44. After passing the other car, he reportedly ran a red light at 70 mph and smashed the Saab into the side of the former teacher's car.

One witness apparently told police the friends were not racing. Another likened the crash to a road rage incident, telling police that the defendant was tailgating his friend's car, then passed it and ran the red light.

The funeral for the former teacher, coach and Vietnam veteran is scheduled for tomorrow.

We wish his family the best as they try to deal with this sudden, devastating loss.

Source: Stoughton Journal, "Emotions run high at arraignment of suspect in fatal Middleboro crash," March 14, 2013

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