An 18-year-old West Roxbury man will face criminal charges for allegedly driving up to 80 miles per hour before a Sept. 6 crash on the Arborway in Jamaica Plain that injured him and five other people, including one victim who is still in a coma and another who suffered life-altering brain and spine injuries, authorities said today.
Authorities are seeking a criminal complaint against Nikolas Papadopoulos, charging him with negligent operation of a motor vehicle and several civil offenses, including speeding, failing to ensure that two passengers under 16 were wearing seat belts, and unsafely crossing lane markings, authorities said.
He will be summonsed to West Roxbury District Court for an arraignment at a future date, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office and State Police Colonel Timothy Alben said in a statement.
Authorities believe excessive speed was the major cause in the crash, the statement said.
The investigation remains active. Papadopoulos is not accused of operating under the influence or of using a cellphone at the time of the crash. But authorities did not rule out additional charges as more information develops, the statement said.
Papadopoulos was traveling westbound when the 2003 Mazda Tribute he was operating crossed the median strip, began to roll over, and collided with a 2004 Ford F-150 pickup truck that was heading eastbound, the statement said.
Papadopoulos was driving two 14-year-olds, one from Chestnut Hill and one from West Roxbury, and a 15-year-old from West Roxbury. All are expected to survive, the statement said. But the 14-year-old from Chestnut Hill suffered life-altering brain and spine injuries, said Jake Wark, spokesman for Conley’s office.
Both Papadopoulos and the 15-year-old were wearing seat belts, Wark said. The two 14-year-olds were not.
The operator of the F-150, a 33-year-old Dorchester man, remains hospitalized in a medically-induced coma. His passenger, a 34-year-old Quincy man, was released from care with less serious injuries. Both were wearing seat belts, the statement said.