A Massachusetts State Police trooper will face drunk driving charges after allegedly crashing a pickup truck into another vehicle while he was off duty in Chicopee last month. The crash injured three people, including a fellow trooper who was a passenger.
State police did not identify the 35-year-old trooper, citing their policy not to name defendants who have not been formally charged in court.
However, the NBC10 Boston Investigators have confirmed the accused trooper is Jason Welch, a former drill instructor for the department who is assigned to Troop B. The NBC10 Boston Investigators called and texted Welch, as well as an attorney for the union that represents state police troopers, but neither has responded.
There are discrepancies in the reports from two different police agencies on the timing of the July 21 crash on Route 291 when the trooper driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck struck a Ford Expedition.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
Chicopee police call logs indicate the crash happened at 12:41 a.m. and that ten minutes later "MSP Troopers took over." However, a press release issued by Massachusetts State Police lists the accident happening more than two hours later at 2:48 a.m.
A 33-year-old woman driving the Expedition suffered minor injuries. Her passenger, a 34-year-old man, was seriously hurt, according to state police. Another off-duty trooper, who was a passenger in the trooper's truck, was also taken to the hospital for treatment.
The trooper driving the truck will be summonsed to Chicopee District Court on Sept. 5 on charges of operating under the influence of liquor causing serious bodily injury, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, operating under the influence of liquor and failure to take care in stopping.
The trooper was placed on restricted duty and has not yet returned to work, according to state police. The department expects to "further amend his duty status" while the criminal case is pending, according to an announcement.
"That amended status will remain in effect for the duration of the judicial proceedings, following which his status will be re-evaluated based on the results of those proceedings and the separate Internal Affairs investigation," police said.
The NBC10 Boston Investigators filed a state public records request asking for "any and all information regarding the accident and any disciplinary action regarding members of the department." NBC10 Boston is awaiting a response.
The Chicopee Fire Department said they cannot release fire department reports detailing the crash because the crash is under investigation by state police.