Police: Second OUI Drug Arrest For Man In Lynnfield Fatal

LYNNFIELD (CBS) — State police say the driver who killed a taxi cab driver Friday night in Lynnfield had been charged with OUI drugs before.

William Halpin III, 25, of Melrose, is charged with motor vehicle homicide while under the influence; operating under the influence of drugs-second offense; possession of a Class D substance with intent to distribute; speeding; and marked lanes violation. Police say he was under the influence of narcotics. They added that they found several small baggies containing what is believed to be marijuana that Halpin threw from his car after the crash.

Police say they got a call just after 8 p.m. Friday from a woman whose car had been hit on Route One in Lynnfield. Both the taxi and the Chevrolet Cobalt had pulled into the breakdown lane. While she was on the phone, the trooper could hear tires screeching and the phone went dead.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports.

When officers arrived on scene they found a man dead outside his taxi cab and an injured child inside the car that had initially been hit.

They say Halpin hit the Victor Vargas, 42, of Lynn, and the Cobalt. Vargas and the driver of the Cobalt had been standing outside the cars inspecting the damage. Vargas was taken to North Shore Medical Center-Lynn Union Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The six-year-old boy suffered a serious injury to his arm and shoulder when Halpin’s car hit his, authorities said. Authorities said he was first taken to Lynn Union Hospital and then to Boston Children’s Hospital.

Patricia Ediamen, 30, of North Andover, the driver of the Cobalt, along with the two other people in the Cobalt, a Framingham woman and a three-year-old boy, were not injured.

WBZ-TV’s Alana Gomez reports.

Vargas’ family says he has a 16-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son, and they are from the Dominican Republic. People at Garcia’s Taxi of Lynn, the taxi company where Vargas worked, say Vargas was a hard worker who had been with the company for about three months.

Halpin was taken to State Police Barracks in Danvers and was expected to be transferred to the Essex County House of Correction Saturday. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Peabody District Court.

  • karen

    just take the key and lock him up. repeat offender, this time with a death as a result. no bail, no mercy. the only tears are for the victims. justice for the victims. safety for the people of the commonwealth!

  • V

    It could be any of us! Just because the news paints a picture of someone being a criminal doesnt mean its true.the whole situation is a tradgedy..they call them accidents for a reason!

  • Laura

    Getting high and then deciding to get behind the wheel is not an accident, moron.

    • cynic

      IF in fact he WAS high.

  • a different dan

    @V, this two time offender didn’t cause an accident, he carried out negligent homicide. The accident was first and then he plowed into the victims. How about the family of the deceased, or the innocent child who was seriously injured. How about that childs mom, who has to help her child for the rest of its life overcome the trauma this irresponsible, inconsiderate, selfish offender caused. You should be ashamed of yourself for making such statements. Go read the first story on this. The maybe you should go to the funeral instead of seeing your friend off to jail.

  • Boston RN

    Police, EMS, Doctors, nurses, etc… Don’t call them accidents because they aren’t. This is known as a motor vehicle crash. This was not an accident- this man CHOSE to drive under the influence and killed a man. Nothing accidental about that!

  • sm

    You people are commenting on a person you don’t even know, you read something in the news and automatically believe it. In the last year how many old people have hit little kids on bike or put they’re car into some building, but you probably didn’t crucify them, you probably defended they’re right to keep their license. Seriously you people can not say that there has not been a time that you drove when you shouldn’t have, you just got lucky and nothing happened. Get a life and stop commenting how you feel about the criminal justice system when you don’t know what you’re talking about

    • bh

      im sorry, actually no im NOT sorry. you should take that back. i have NEVER driven when i shouldnt have – so you best not be making stereotypes. This person did not do this once – yet TWICE and killed someone and hurt a young child. Why dont you think about if that victim was a part of your family if you would feel any different. why dont YOU get a life. The facts are there. Enough said!

      • sm

        Its easy to lie on a comment page and you know ur lying about driving when maybe you shouldn’t have, even driving when ur tired counts. Second of all obv I feel for the victim and his family, but obv you didn’t realize this kids life is ruined and his family is also affected. Instead of seeing this from all angles you decided to be a judgmental prick and think your qualified to judge people you never met. That area of rte 1 is probably the most dangerous areas of highway in MA, people trying to cut across to get to lynn and getting over to 128, so get a life and stop commenting like ur Nancy Grace, she sucks as much as you

      • bh

        WOW! you really have no brain. do you? and IM the judgemental one? youre judging ME and have you ever met me? NO. so stop it. That area of rt 1 is dangerous when there are people driving under the influence making it dangerous for others. You are so defensive with a guilty conscience. I am seeing it from all angles. The kid killed a man. This is not his first offense. He chose to do it. He has a family. They are upset that it happened. Everyone is upset. DOESNT MAKE IT OKAY OR ACCEPTABLE.

  • GT

    This is to V and sm: Comparing this to accidents caused by old people does not make sense. This guy elected to drive after taking drugs resulting in this tradgedy. Also, this is his secone OUI. As far as his family, most everyone in prison has a family, so should we let them out because we should feel sorry for their family? Now, when he goes to trial, do you think all the people on the jury will know him? They will know him as well as we do. Obviously, you two must be a friend or relitave of this guy.

  • http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/03/07/man-charged-in-taxi-driver-death-held-on-25000-bail/ Man Charged In Taxi Driver Death Held On $25,000 Bail « CBS Boston

    […] (CBS/AP) – A Melrose man charged with being high on drugs when his SUV struck and killed a taxi driver was ordered held on $25,000 bond […]

  • john

    I know the victim of this tragedy. Very close friend of mine and I am still crying because of this. Victor went to work that day because his car’s transmision broke. He needed the extra $, his wife told him to stay but he decided to go. He was a man that you would never find in the club as he only worked to support his family..You know what I did Saturday morning?? I went to the funeral home to pick out his casket. It is very unfortunate what this irresponsible person did, he did not only take 1 life; he took a husband a father a friend and more.. People have to learn how to be responsible and accept the consequences of their actions but unfortunately this will never happen.

    • a different dan

      Do you know if the EasternBank fund is setup yet? I’m certain that folks will graciously help. It is the least that we could do, to contribute to help relieve financial burdens.

  • Cynic

    Has anyone been charged in the original accident?

  • Cynic

    The State Police say he was ” Charged ” before but it doesn’t say what the result of the ” Charges” was.Was he found Guilty,Not Guilty,Dismissed?

  • Cynic

    Without lessinging the sadness of the mans death. I always feel uneasy when the Police try their case in the Newspapers or on TV rather than in the Court room. It’s sad also when the media throws out terms like ” Charged” without really knowing what the term means… The is a difference between charged and Convicted…. ALL the factors will come out in Court,Did the drivers in the original accident create an unavoidable hazzard….What were the conditions that may have contributed to the Incident. This is what the Court is for.

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