A Massachusetts woman indicted in connection with a chain-reaction crash in 2018 that killed a toddler entered a not guilty plea in court Thursday.
Charlene Casey, 64 — charged with motor vehicle homicide in the crash that killed 2-year-old Colin McGrath — was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday morning but never showed up.
An arrest warrant was issued after probation officers failed to reach her after multiple attempts. She later appeared in court with her lawyer on Thursday afternoon. Bail was set at $5,000 and she was ordered not to drive if released.
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Her attorney said the reason she didn't show up Thursday morning is that she has health issues and didn't fully understand the process.
The McGrath family was also in the courtroom for Casey's arraignment.
Prosecutors said Casey was stopped at a stop sign at East Sixth and L streets when another driver waved her through the intersection. Casey allegedly accelerated and struck a van, which in turn hit McGrath, his 4-year-old sister and their caretaker.
The boy was taken to a local hospital where he later died. His sister and the caretaker were also injured.
The incident sparked concern among residents about pedestrian safety in the area.
“The tragedy of Colin’s death is compounded by the preventable nature of the crash that claimed his young, beautiful life,’’ said District Attorney Rollins.
In a statement, McGrath's family expressed gratitude to the community as well as law enforcement officials.
“We remain enormously grateful for the support of our family, friends, community, colleagues, elected officials, the Boston Police Department, and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office," the statement said.
"We have trust and faith in the ongoing judicial process and ask for continued respect for our family’s privacy.”
Casey's lawyer Steven Boozang said his client was remorseful.
"Every time she drove by, all she could do was picture the little kids,'' he said outside the courthouse. "She's a real good person and it's a tragic, tragic accident.''
The Associated Press contributed to this report.