Police say hit-and-run driver was drunk and texting girlfriend

UXBRIDGE – A Bellingham man who allegedly was texting while driving drunk was arrested in Uxbridge Monday after his car hit another car, injuring the driver.

William F. Lydon, 40, of 29 Bliss Road, Bellingham, was arraigned in Uxbridge District Court on Tuesday on charges of drunken driving, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury, failing to drive in the right lane and texting while driving.

Police went around 12:30 p.m. Monday to a car crash near 470 East Hartford Ave., according to a report by Uxbridge Police Officer Paul J. Stuczynski. There they found a red 1997 Subaru Legacy facing west, with damage to the entire driver’s side, including a snapped-off mirror and white paint smearing the side of the car.

An ambulance was called for the Subaru driver, Faith Plumb of 223 Heritage Drive, Whitinsville, who told police her head was sore from being hit by the broken side mirror through her open window.

A woman who had been traveling in front of Ms. Plumb said a small white passenger car traveling east had begun to drift into her lane. The witness said the head of the driver of the white car was down. She said she saw, in her rear-view mirror, the white car hit the red car and take off.

After a radio call had gone out with a description of the white car, believed to be a Honda sedan, Mendon police reported around 1 p.m. they had found a car matching the description at Technical Metal Fabricators in Mendon. The 2002 Honda sedan had damage on the driver’s side, including a flat tire in front, a missing mirror, and transferred red paint.

Mendon police Detective D.H. Kurczy reported seeing a man matching the driver’s license picture of Mr. Lydon sitting about 15 minutes earlier on the guardrail across from where his car was found.

Shortly after 2 p.m., police said, officers found Mr. Lydon walking on Uxbridge Road toward Uxbridge, where he gave himself up for arrest. Officer Stuczynski reported that he smelled alcohol on Mr. Lydon, his speech was slow and slurred and his eyes were bloodshot and watery. He failed a field sobriety test, and a portable breath alcohol test showed a reading of .20.

Police said Mr. Lydon told them he had been drinking with his girlfriend in Sturbridge and was texting her when the crash occurred.

He was taken to the Uxbridge police station and booked. Two breath tests at the station resulted in measurements of .210 and .215. The legal limit for blood-alcohol content while driving in Massachusetts is .08.

After his arraignment, Mr. Lydon was released on personal recognizance and ordered to stay away from drugs and alcohol and be subject to random testing. A pretrial conference is scheduled for May 9.