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Driver accused in four collisions

Quincy man allegedly was driving drunk

By Travis Andersen
Globe Staff / November 27, 2010

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A Quincy man was arraigned on several charges yesterday, including driving under the influence, after he allegedly struck four vehicles on highways between Attleboro and Milton.

A not guilty plea was entered on behalf of Rony S. Santos-Cruz, 24, in Quincy District Court on charges including driving with a revoked license and leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage. He posted $1,000 cash bail and is due back in court Dec. 27.

Assistant District Attorney Erin McFarland said during the arraignment that Santos-Cruz struck four vehicles shortly after 5 a.m. and was found in a travel lane on I-93 in Milton near two of the vehicles.

McFarland said that Santos-Cruz admitted to driving the blue Buick involved in the accidents and that the vehicle he was driving had substantial damage, including a blown tire and several dents and scratches. She said he responded “home’’ when asked by a state trooper where he was coming from and where he was going.

She said Santos-Cruz failed multiple field sobriety tests and had a blood alcohol level of 0.23, above the legal limit of 0.08.

According to the State Police arrest report, Santos-Cruz had three revoked Massachusetts licenses in the system at booking. Police also reported finding four beer bottle caps on the driver’s seat of the car. State Police said the licenses had the same date of birth and picture, with slight variations of his name.

When asked about the licenses, he told State Police, “We all have to start somewhere,’’ according to the report.

Santos-Cruz’s court appointed lawyer, Paul Stanton of Medfield, said his client does not remember everything that happened yesterday morning. Stanton said it was “not necessarily proven’’ that two of the four vehicles were involved in an accident with Santos-Cruz.

He said his client was traveling from his legal address in Quincy, where he lives with his mother, to a room he has been renting in Dorchester. He said Santos-Cruz has no criminal record, is employed, is a graduate of Quincy High School, and has taken classes at Bunker Hill Community College.

Santos-Cruz, dressed in a blue windbreaker and green slacks, did not speak during the arraignment except to answer “yes’’ when asked whether he understood the charges and “yes, sir’’ when asked whether he would be willing to pay a fee for his lawyer.

Santos-Cruz and his girlfriend, whom authorities said he identified as the owner of the Buick, did not speak to reporters as they left court.

A spokesman for the state Department of Transportation said Santos-Cruz was issued one license this year and had three other applications rejected, in 2004 and 2005. The spokesman, Richard Nangle, said the department is trying to determine why the other applications were rejected. He said Santos-Cruz’s driving record was not immediately available yesterday.

Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com.

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