Massachusetts State Police have ordered an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding a fatal crash on Interstate 95 in Reading, Massachusetts last August.
Lynn DeWolfe, 51, of Tyngsborough, is accused of being high behind the wheel at the time of the crash. She appeared in court Tuesday for a brief hearing.
Police said DeWolfe was erratically driving a Saab 93 sedan on Aug. 24, 2017 when she hit a Subaru Impreza on I-95 north, causing that vehicle to hit a BMW K-100 RS motorcycle and two other vehicles.
The driver of the motorcycle, Christopher Weisz, 42, of Bedford, was thrown from the bike and later died from his injuries.
DeWolfe was eventually stopped by a Wakefield police officer and a state trooper and taken into custody. She reportedly told police she had taken Lorazepam and Gabapentin.
The Boston Globe reported this week that DeWolfe had been involved in another crash that same morning. A state trooper responded to the scene, but allowed DeWolfe to continue driving because there wasn't enough probable cause for her arrest, despite state police having received 911 calls about her erratic driving.
"It's painful enough that he died," widow Alexis Weisz told the Globe. "The fact that she could have been stopped that morning is heartbreaking."
State police said the trooper who pulled over Wolfe followed appropriate protocols, but the entire case will be reviewed at the request of state police Col. Kerry Gilpin, from the initial 911 calls to the communication between state police and the prosecuting attorneys.
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"We have determined that the District Attorney’s Office was not in possession of all relevant information related to the DeWolfe case," state police spokesman David Procopio said. "Colonel Gilpin, with the support of the administration, has ordered an independent and thorough investigation to determine how and why this occurred."
Lizzy Guyton, Gov. Charlie Baker's communications director, issued a statement Tuesday saying that the governor supports Gilpin's decision to order an independent investigation.
DeWolfe has pleaded not guilty to operating under the influence of drugs, leaving the scene of a crash that caused personal injury and death, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and a marked lanes violation.
She has a prior history of drunk driving offenses. She was charged twice with operating under the influence, once in 1987 and again in 2005, and had multiple license suspensions for refusing chemical tests. She was also involved in at least four other crashes.
During Tuesday's court appearance, prosecutors said they need time to review the 79-page accident reconstruction report received this week before moving forward with the case. Another hearing is scheduled for May 31.