The driver of a fatal accident over two months ago in Somerville has been indicted and will be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on July 6. Kenneth Belew, 21, from Somerville, has been indicted on two counts of motor vehicle homicide. He was allegedly driving under the influence and crashed his vehicle. The crash resulted in the death of two of his five passengers.
Belew has been indicted by a Middlesex County Grand Jury on charges of negligent operation of a motor vehicle and two counts of motor vehicle homicide by operating under the influence of liquor.
On April 21, Belew allegedly left a local bar after alcohol consumption and met up with a group of people at a house in Somerville where he reportedly continued to drink. At 3:15 am, Belew and a group of five people left the house to drive to local restaurant. Belew was asked to slow down by his passengers after speeding and running a red light. At this point, three of the passengers in the vehicle put on their seatbelts. The two deceased teenagers were sitting on the laps of two other passengers in the backseat and remained unrestrained. According to investigators of the accident, Belew was driving excessively fast before losing control of his vehicle. His passangers were thrown forward upon impact and were ejected from the vehicle. All of the victims were transported to Massachusetts General Hospital where their injuries were treated. This is a tragic situation and is a needless end to two lives of his passengers.
Although the charges against Belew are allegations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty, his blood alcohol was measured at the scene of the accident as 0.17 which is more than twice the legal limit of blood alcohol content.
While we have limited facts as to how much alcohol he consumed at each location, one of the questions that needs to be addressed is whether or not he may have been over served at the bar he went to. Also, when he went to the house, who served him the alcohol- -an issue to be investigated is whether there is a social host liability issue? No matter who did the serving, this is a horrible tragedy that could have been avoided.
Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said “This defendant is alleged to have driven under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol level over twice the legal limit, while recklessly driving erratically and at a high rate of speed along a public highway…This defendant’s alleged actions resulted in killing two young girls and injuring three passengers. Impaired driving is a serious public safety concern that can have life changing consequences, as is alleged to be the case here.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 17,941 people died because of alcohol-related collisions in the United States in 2006 alone.
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.
Somerville man indicted on motor vehicle homicide charges, The Somerville News, July 1, 2011
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