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Somerville man held without bail in fatal Saugus crash

The man who was allegedly fleeing police when he crashed head-on into a car in Saugus Wednesday, killing the 19-year-old driver, was arraigned Thursday from his hospital bed at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, officials said.

William Leger, 35 of Somerville appeared via video link for his arraignment in Lynn District Court, where he pleaded not guilty to seven charges, including motor vehicle homicide by reckless operation, the Essex district attorney’s office said in a statement.

He was ordered held pending a dangerousness hearing set for June 17.

Prosecutors said Leger robbed a convenience store and then drove a stolen vehicle at high speeds while going the wrong way on Route 107 in Saugus, where he collided with a vehicle driven by Ashley Forward of Lynn, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Forward had just finished her first year as a nursing student at Emmanuel College in Boston. She was driving to visit her grandmother when the crash occurred, her family said Wednesday.

Leger sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to MGH, prosecutors said.

An ongoing investigation has found that the car Leger was driving, a gray 2013 Volkswagen Jetta, was reported stolen last week and that he was driving with a suspended license, according to the statement.

The full charges against Leger include unarmed robbery, receiving a stolen vehicle (subsequent offense), operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license (subsequent offense), marked lanes violation, driving the wrong way on a state highway, and speeding, according to the statement.

A lawyer representing Leger declined to comment.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.