Off-Duty State Trooper Charged With OUI, Hitting Another Trooper’s Cruiser In Crash
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REVERE (CBS) – Two state troopers were hurt in a crash in Revere early Monday morning and State Police say one of them was driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Trooper John Phonesavanh pulled over a Honda Accord on Route 1 south in Revere around 1 a.m. While he was in his cruiser parked in the breakdown lane writing a ticket, a Toyota Corolla slammed into the back of his car.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Lana Jones reports
The impact of the crash pushed the cruiser into the Honda.
State Police say the driver of the Toyota was 43-year-old off-duty trooper Shawn D’Amato.
All three drivers were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries.
According to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, D’Amato allegedly told EMTs that he had smoked crack cocaine within the past hour and he had track marks on his arms, suggesting intravenous drug use.
D’Amato was arraigned from his hospital bed Monday on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while under the influence of drugs, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and obstructing an emergency vehicle.
Assistant District Attorney Christopher Henry recommended that he be held on $2,000 cash bail and be ordered not to drive while the case is pending; Judge Benjamin Barnes released him on his own recognizance with the no-driving order.
He’ll be in court Jan. 10 with attorney Daniel Moynihan.
D’Amato was relieved of duty overnight and his superiors took his gun and other department property.
He will have an internal duty status hearing later this week. D’Amato joined the State Police in May 1994.
D’Amato received the Medal of Valor in 2002 for his role in a drug bust and a life saving award in 2006.
Both the on-duty trooper and the civilian motorist whom he was citing have been released from the hospital.
State Police Colonel Timothy Alben released a statement on D’Amato’s arrest:
“The mixing of alcohol and/or controlled substances with the operation of a motor vehicle is not just irresponsible, it is a reckless and deliberate culmination of bad decision making that has contributed to unspeakable loss of lives, life altering injuries and incomprehensible damage to people and families. The men and women of the Massachusetts State Police – every one of us – have witnessed such tragedies up close and as personal as it can be experienced. We know the consequences! As Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police I am angered, dismayed and saddened by the alleged conduct of any member of this department who would recklessly risk the lives and safety of anyone, whether that be another police officer or an innocent member of the community we are sworn to protect. I speak for every member of this department when I say that this is not who we are; that we take an oath to uphold the law and ensure that anyone who commits such senseless, criminal acts will be held accountable and prosecuted to the full extent of the law as well as fully accountable to the rules of this department. We respect the judicial process as it applies to everyone, but will aggressively pursue justice in this and every such case.”
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