Police have arrested Mauricio Velasquez, of Springfield, in connection with a car accident that killed his own 3-year-old child and the 71-year-old driver of another vehicle Saturday.
Velasquez, the operator of a white van allegedly traveling at a high rate of speed, was taken to Baystate Medical Center with serious injuries. He was later arrested and charged with drunken driving, two counts of vehicular homicide, two counts of causing serious injury while operating under the influence, a marked lane violation, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, child endangerment while operating under the influence, operating without a license, and one count of having a child under 5-years-old in a car without a car seat, police said.
Police and firefighters are still investigating the crash that occurred in the area of Hendrick Street just after 3:30 p.m. Police say Velasquez allegedly lost control of his vehicle, struck a guardrail and ended up on the opposite side of the road where he collided with blue pick-up truck. Both vehicles suffered extensive damage and firefighers used the Jaws of Life to extricate the victims from the vehicles, police said.
Charles Hoffman, 71, of Easthampton, died in the accident. He was driving the pick-up truck. His 69-year-old female passenger was seriously injured in the accident and was admitted to Baystate Medical Center, according to First Assistant District Attorney Steven E. Gagne of the Northwest District Attorneys office.
A male passenger in the van, whose name and age were not released, was also taken to Baystate Medical Center with serious injuries. The child’s name was not released, Gagne said.
Velasquez was arrested at Baystate Medical Center and is being held on $50,000.00 cash bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Northampton District Court, depending on his medical condition.
Easthampton police, Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, and the state police collision analysis and reconstruction section are investigating.