A 20-year-old man was allegedly driving drunk at an estimated 70 miles per hour when he sped through a red light on Route 44 in Middleborough and slammed into a car being driven by a retired high school teacher, killing him, according to a State Police report.
Zachery Lemmo pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday in Wareham District Court to a charge of motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, the report said. He was ordered held on $50,000 cash bail and ordered not to drink alcohol or drive if released while awaiting trial, said the office of Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz.
Lemmo’s court appearance was witnessed by three sons of the victim, James Braga, 61, a Vietnam veteran who was a teacher and soccer coach at Middleborough High School. Braga was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.
In an 11-page affidavit filed in court, Trooper Donald P. Short summarized the evidence gathered since the crash Saturday at around 9:25 p.m. at the intersection of Route 44 and Everett Street.
State Police said Lemmo spent part of the day snowboarding and eventually drove around town during the evening with two other friends while they smoked marijuana. A friend identified in the report as Marcus Cummings told State Police he drove Lemmo and a third friend around and then dropped Lemmo at his mother’s house at around 9 p.m.
Cummings said at that point, Lemmo got into the black Saab owned by Lemmo’s mother. The two cars then left with Lemmo following Cummings until Lemmo finally sped past, according to State Police.
Cummings said he was then behind Lemmo’s car and saw him drive through the red light and slam into Braga’s vehicle, according to the report.
Another friend of Lemmo’s, identified in the report as Nicholas Bouffard, told Short that he believed Lemmo was driving faster than 70 miles per hour.
Lemmo, who stopped breathing at the scene and had no pulse, was revived by EMTs, State Police said. He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital and was later released.
State Police said samples of blood and urine collected at the hospital were tested for alcohol. Lemmo had an average blood alcohol count of .121 percent, which is above the state limit of .08 percent.