Hyde Park man accused in hit-and-run

A Hyde Park man was driving while drunk early Saturday when he crashed a Toyota pickup truck into a tree, fatally injuring his passenger, and then fled the scene, prosecutors said.

Gregory Colandris, 22, was arraigned Monday in West Roxbury Municipal Court on charges of operating under the influence and leaving the scene of a crash after causing a death, prosecutors said. A judge set bail at $50,000 and revoked Colandris’s bail on a previous drunken-driving case and a Brockton assault-and-battery case.

Mercedes Leary, 25, who was riding with Colandris, was pronounced dead at the scene after the crash, which happened shortly before 2:30 a.m. Saturday on Dedham Parkway in Hyde Park, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office said. The truck Colandris was driving was owned by Leary’s father.


Police searched for the driver at the scene with the help of a State Police K-9 unit. They also checked local hospital emergency rooms to see if an injured man had checked himself in. But they could not find him, prosecutors said.

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Troopers identified Leary by about 8:30 a.m. and learned by talking with her family that she had been out with “Greg from Hyde Park’’ the night before. Troopers also checked Leary’s cellphone and found several recent calls from “Greg.” Using that information, they rapidly identified Colandris.

Troopers then went to Colandris’s Dell Terrace home. Colandris opened the door with blood on his head and clothing, smelling of alcohol, prosecutors said. Colandris allegedly registered .037 on a chemical breath test he took later at the State Police barracks. The legal limit is .08, a little more than twice the amount that police said Colandris registered.

Jake Wark, a district attorney’s spokesman, said prosecutors believe Colandris’s blood test “reflects the passage of time.”

Colandris’s license had been suspended after he was arrested for drunken driving on Sept. 5, according to the state Department of Transportation.


In the Sept. 5 case, prosecutors said, Colandris was driving up to 70 miles per hour down Washington Street in West Roxbury around 3 a.m. He failed a series of field sobriety tests, police said. He was released on personal recognizance after his arraignment in that case.

Colandris is due back in court Dec. 23 in the fatal crash case.

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@
. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.