A driver will face charges for his role in a violent crash on the Arborway earlier this month.
Nikolas Papadopoulos, 18, of West Roxbury, will be charged with the criminal offense of negligent operation of a motor vehicle and civil offenses of speeding, failing to ensure that two passengers under 16 were wearing seat belts, and unsafely crossing the road’s lane markings all related to a two-car crash on the Arborway the afternoon of Sept. 6, according to a joint statement from Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley’s office and the Massachusetts State Police Wednesday.
There were six victims in the crash, which caused authorities to shut down the Arborway for the duration of the afternoon commuter. Two of the victims were critically injured.
Investigators found that Papadopoulos was travelling westbound on the state roadway at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour when the 2003 Mazda Tribute he was operating jumped the median strip near St. Joseph Street, began to roll, and collided with a 2004 Ford F-150 pick-up truck heading eastbound, according to the statement.
At the time of the crash, Papadopoulos had three passengers: one 14-year-old from Chestnut Hill, another 14-year-old from West Roxbury, and a 15-year-old also from West Roxbury. While all four are currently expected to survive, the 14-year-old from Chestnut Hill sustained life-altering injuries to the brain and spine after being ejected from the vehicle. Neither he nor the other 14-year-old was wearing his seat belt.
The operator of the Ford, a 33-year-old Dorchester man, was also critically injured and remains in a medically-induced coma at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His passenger, age 34 and a resident of Quincy, has been released from care with less serious injuries. Both men in the Ford were wearing seat belts.
Papadopoulos is not accused of operating under the influence or using a cell phone at the time of the crash, the statement says.
“At this stage in the investigation, we believe the defendant’s excessive speed was the primary factor,” Conley said in the statement. “This was an avoidable tragedy. It didn’t have to happen.”
Papadopoulos remains hospitalized at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He will be summonsed to West Roxbury District Court for arraignment on a future date to be scheduled by the clerk’s office of that venue.