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Man charged in crash that killed off-duty Salem police officer

A salute with social distancing for Salem Police Officer Dana Mazola, 56, whose funeral in July was held on Salem Common, due to the pandemic. A 26-year-old Salem man is facing vehicular homicide and other charges following a months-long investigation, officials said Thursday.
A salute with social distancing for Salem Police Officer Dana Mazola, 56, whose funeral in July was held on Salem Common, due to the pandemic. A 26-year-old Salem man is facing vehicular homicide and other charges following a months-long investigation, officials said Thursday.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

A Salem man has been charged with two counts of motor vehicle homicide in connection with a car crash last June that killed an off-duty Salem police officer, according to the Essex district attorney’s office.

Juan Marinez, 26, has been summoned to appear in Salem District Court on March 3 to be arraigned on charges of motor vehicle homicide by reckless operation, motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation, speeding and a marked lanes violation, prosecutors said in a statement.

A criminal complaint was issued against Marinez Wednesday following an investigation by the Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section and investigators assigned to the DA’s office, the statement said.

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On June 26, Marinez was involved in a head-on collision with 56-year-old Salem Police Officer Dana Mazola, according to the release.

Officers responded at 11:05 p.m. to a report of the crash involving a Toyota Corolla and a Ford Fusion in the area of 357 Jefferson Ave., the release said.

Each operator was alone in their vehicle, and was taken to North Shore Medical Center in Salem. Mazola, who was driving the Toyota, was pronounced dead at the hospital. He was a 31-year-member of the department and had planned to retire in July, officials said at the time.

Marinez, the operator of the Ford, was treated for non-life threatening injuries. He was charged after a lengthy investigation, which included the State Police


Sofia Saric can be reached at sofia.saric@globe.com Follow her on Twitter @sofia_saric.