TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A Medford man accused of causing a deadly crash in Taunton faced a judge Tuesday morning.
Hector Bannister-Sanchez, 34, was arrested Monday after he crashed his SUV into 54-year-old Lori Ann Medeiros’ car on Kingman Road. The Middleboro resident was rushed to Morton Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
Bannister-Sanchez has been charged with manslaughter, reckless motor vehicle homicide and negligent motor vehicle homicide. He was arraigned Tuesday and ordered held without bail.
Prior to the crash, Massachusetts State Police troopers attempted to pull Bannister-Sanchez over as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation.
Instead of stopping, Bannister-Sanchez sped off.
The troopers opted not to pursue Bannister-Sanchez, primarily because his vehicle was already being monitored by a court-authorized GPS tracking device, according to Assistant District Attorney Kaitlyn O’Leary.
“[The GPS tracking device] showed the vehicle was traveling as high as 101 [miles per hour] on Route 44 as it headed towards Taunton and 91 miles per hour on Route 79,” O’Leary stated.
Police believe Bannister-Sanchez lost control of his vehicle while rounding a curve, causing him to cross the center line and crash head-on into Medeiros’ car.
Police said Bannister-Sanchez hopped out of his car and ran off following the crash, but was quickly apprehended thanks to bystanders.
O’Leary said Bannister-Sanchez was carrying a backpack with roughly $20,000 inside. The car involved in the crash was registered to Bannister-Sanchez’s girlfriend, who O’Leary said is being charged as a co-conspirator.
Bannister-Sanchez has a criminal history dating back to at least 2007, according to O’Leary, which predominantly consists of drug offenses. He was released on bail back in April on drug trafficking charges.
Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn said this case is “yet another example” of why the legislature needs to amend its dangerousness statute.
The Supreme Judicial Court opted not to pass reforms to the state’s dangerousness statute this past summer, meaning prosecutors could not request a dangerousness hearing for Bannister-Sanchez.
“The facts and circumstances of this case are egregious,” Quinn said. “On top of it, [Bannister-Sanchez] is out on bail for a Superior Court drug trafficking case and is out on probation for other drug offenses.”
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that manslaughter is not a crime for which prosecutors can request a dangerousness hearing.
“This is unacceptable and needs to be changed by the legislature,” Quinn said. “[Bannister-Sanchez] is clearly dangerous and should be held without bail until his cases are resolved.”