BOSTON, Nov. 25, 2013—A Hyde Park man already facing one drunk driving charge is now charged with another in which he allegedly crashed a pick-up truck, killing his passenger, then fled the scene and left her dead, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
GREGORY COLANDRIS (D.O.B. 4/10/91), whose driver’s license is suspended, was arraigned today in West Roxbury District Court on charges of operating under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident causing death. Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Megrian recommended that he be held on $150,000 cash bail on this case and that his bail on an earlier West Roxbury drunk driving case and a Brockton assault and battery case be revoked. Judge Debra Shopteese imposed $50,000 and the revocation orders.
Colandris could face additional charges as the investigation by State Police collision reconstruction experts proceeds, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors say Colandris was behind the wheel of a 2005 Toyota Tundra owned by the father of 25-year-old Mercedes Leary when it crashed into a tree shortly before 2:30 on Saturday morning. The crash took place on Dedham Parkway in Hyde Park, so close to the border that Dedham police and firefighters were the initial responders.
When Dedham officers found the vehicle, they saw that Leary was unresponsive in the front passenger seat. There was no one in the driver’s seat. State Police also responded to the scene, bringing a K-9 unit to search for the driver. Dogs tracked the operator further into Boston before losing the scent. A canvas of area hospitals for anyone admitted with trauma consistent with a car crash was also unsuccessful.
By about 8:30 that morning, State Police were able to identify Leary and make contact with her family. Family members said she had been out with “Greg from Hyde Park” the night before. Troopers checked Leary’s cell phone for recent calls and found several entries for “Greg.” Using that information, they rapidly identified Colandris.
Troopers responded to Colandris’ Dell Terrace home and spoke to him. He came to the door with blood on his head and clothing. He smelled of alcohol. Troopers took him into custody and, at the barracks, blew a .037 on a Breathalyzer.
At the time of his arrest, Colandris was free on his own recognizance in a Sept. 5 drunk driving case. In that matter, he was driving at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour along Washington Street in West Roxbury just before 3:00 on the morning. When Boston Police stopped him, he was bloodshot, slurring his words, and smelled of alcohol. He failed a series of field sobriety tests. At his arraignment the same morning, prosecutors recommended that he be held on $500 cash bail on that case and that his open bail on the Brockton assault be revoked. A judge released him on his own recognizance with an order not to drive without a valid license.
Colandris was represented today by attorney Christie Charles. He will return to court on Dec. 23.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.