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Woman Charged for Fatal Crash in Stoughton Held on $100,000 Bail

A Bridgewater woman has been charged with drunken driving in a crash last weekend that killed an Easton woman. Patricia Neville-Colp, 48, was arraigned on September 12 in the Stoughton District Court for motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of alcohol and drugs, for leaving the scene of an accident, and for 7 other related charges. Her cash bail was set at $100,000, which was ten times higher than the bail sought by prosecutors. Such a high bail is an example of lawmakers´ recent attempts to crackdown on repeat dangerous drivers.

Neville-Colp’s state driving record revealed seven surchargeable accidents. Under Massachusetts law, a driver may incur a surcharge for any of the following reasons:

• pays the fine assessed • is found guilty or responsible by the court • is assigned by the court to a driver alcohol education program or a controlled substance abuse treatment or rehabilitation program • defaults on the citation by failing to pay the assessed fine or attending the hearing
Three of these surcharges occurred within the past five years and Neville-Colp received four speeding fines since 1982.

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), who is responsible for last month´s bill to toughen penalties for repeat dangerous drivers, said “We have to have some system in place that recognizes the cumulative nature of these offenses – and today we don’t…With each passing day, we see more tragedy on the roadway of the commonwealth, and we need to address it.”

State police report that Neville-Colp’s Jeep Grand Cherokee smashed into the side of a Kia Sportage just after 11 p.m. Saturday on Route 24. Kia passenger Maureen O’Brien Ellis, 57, of Easton was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Kia, Steven H. Cadoff, 64, and passenger Martha A. Cadoff, 63, were hospitalized with injuries.

State police reported that Neville-Colp was obviously intoxicated when they pulled her over on Route 25. Trooper Brian Berry reported: “Her eyes were bloodshot and glassy…Her speech was slurred and thick-tongued.” Neville-Colp first told police she was coming from work but then later admitted she had been drinking at a local bar. State troopers also reportedly found 17 marijuana cigarettes and a bottle of pills in her car.

If you have been involved in a road accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Sources:

High bail set for Mass. woman in fatal car crash, Boston Globe, September 12, 2011
Crackdown urged after deadly crash, The Boston Herald, September 12, 2011
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Drunk Driver Causes Fatal Accident on Interstate 95

If you have been injured on the road, an experienced Massachusetts accident lawyer can advise you.

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