Driver in fatal crash accused of being on drugs at the time


FOSTER, R.I. (WPRI) — Investigators allege a Connecticut man was high on cocaine and marijuana when he caused a crash last month that claimed the life of a Massachusetts man.

Rhode Island State Police announced Friday they’ve charged James Beattie in connection with the Jan. 29 crash on Hartford Pike (Route 101) in Foster.

According to police, Beattie was traveling westbound at about 1:30 p.m. when he reportedly crossed into the eastbound lane and struck another vehicle head-on, causing it to spin and strike a third car.

The driver of the second car, 40-year-old Orlando E. Colon of Southbridge, died as a result of the crash, according to police.

Beattie and his passenger, a 38-year-old resident of Warwick, were seriously injured. Both were admitted to Rhode Island Hospital, where Beattie remains a patient.

The two occupants of the third vehicle were treated at the hospital and released.

Beattie, 39, of Danielson, was arraigned in his hospital bed Friday morning on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – resulting in death, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – resulting in serious bodily injury, driving to endanger – resulting in death, and driving to endanger – resulting in physical injury.

Police also charged Beattie with possession of child pornography after finding it on his cell phone during their investigation.

Beattie was released on personal recognizance, pending further court action.

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