The man charged in connection with a fatal crash in Auburn, Massachusetts was ordered held on $50,000 cash bail at his arraignment Friday.
DeJesus Amaro, 24, of Taunton, is facing charges including motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation in connection with the Thursday afternoon accident.
According to authorities, a police officer parked in an unmarked vehicle at 481 Washington Street heard that Sutton police had attempted to stop a red Ford Explorer on Route 146 around 1 p.m. Thursday, but the vehicle had fled the scene.
Shortly thereafter, the officer observed a red Ford Explorer traveling west in the eastbound lane of Washington Street. The truck was traveling extremely fast when it lost control and swerved back into the westbound lane.
Once back in its proper lane, the Explorer struck the back of a Toyota truck. It then veered across the road into the eastbound lane and struck the front of a Jeep Cherokee. The force sent the Jeep into the air, and it then landed on a guardrail.
The officer said he requested multiple ambulances and exited his parking spot to investigate the scene. He then saw the driver of the Ford Explorer sprint across the parking lot of 475 Washington Street.
The driver, later identified as Amaro, ran into the woods, so the officer waited for a K9 unit to arrive. When it did, they were able to locate the suspect, who was hiding in a concrete drainage pipe.
According to police, Amaro had an odor of alcohol and burnt marijuana on his breath. Authorities later found an open bottle of Hennessy liquor just below the driver's door of the Explorer.
Amaro was transferred to UMass Medical Center in custody to be treated for an arm injury.
A passenger in the Jeep was killed in the crash, police said. Family identified the victim as 54-year-old Michael Allen Robidoux of Auburn.
The multi-vehicle crash happened less than half a mile from where Robidoux owned a tow shop.
"He took this road every day," said his younger brother, Tim Robidoux. "You don't expect that when you're driving. You don't expect someone to come into your lane and hit you head on."
Tim Robidoux said his brother's death still hasn't hit him.
"It really stinks to lose a brother like that," he said.
"We are devastated," Michael's daughter-in-law, Brittany Girardi Robidoux, said. "My husband, his son, doesn't believe it's real."
She said she will remember him as a great man who could light up any room.
"We're just at a loss for words and he’s going to be missed," added Steve Putis, who used to work for Michael Robidoux. "He did a lot for the community. He did a lot for all of us. He will be well missed.”
The driver of the Jeep, a 45-year-old Worcester man, was seriously injured and is being treated for a possible broken hip, possible punctured lung, whiplash and numerous abrasions, police said.
The driver of the Toyota was not injured, but the vehicle sustained moderate damage in the front and the rear.
According to authorities, Amaro had stolen the Ford Explorer he was driving at the time of the crash. Amaro does not have a driver's license in any state.
Amaro's friend, Angel Velazquez, says the SUV belonged to him.
"I didn't give him permission to take it," Velazquez said. "It's killing me. That's the worst part of it is that somebody's gone, you know? Like, somebody's gone. He could've waited for me to come home from work."
The district attorney's office said Amaro had outstanding warrants for probation violations for previous possession of class A and B drugs, disorderly, and felony breaking and entering.
Judge David Despotopulos entered not guilty pleas on the defendant's behalf on Friday.