An off-duty, rookie State Police trooper who’d graduated from the academy just last week was arrested in connection with a pre-dawn crash Friday that claimed the life of a motorcyclist on a Boston highway, the agency said.
State Police spokesman David Procopio confirmed the arrest of the probationary trooper, Kristopher Carr, 25, of Monson, in a statement.
Carr was arraigned Friday in Dorchester Municipal Court on charges of motor vehicle homicide while operating under the influence and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. A not guilty plea was entered for him, and he was freed on $5,000 cash bail with orders to refrain from driving and drinking alcohol. He also must submit to regular urine tests.
Carr’s driving record provided by the RMV shows his license was suspended Friday as an “immediate threat,” a standard move in fatal OUI cases. His license had previously been suspended for “immediate threat medical” on April 22, but it was reinstated five days later, according to his driving record. Further details on the April matter weren’t immediately available.
Carr’s driving record also shows he was involved in two surchargeable accidents, in October 2014 and October 2017. Further details on those accidents weren’t immediately available.
According to Procopio’s statement, Carr was allegedly driving a 2020 Ford Explorer around 1:30 a.m. Friday on the Southeast Expressway near the Freeport Street exit when he lost control of the SUV, which hit the median barrier before coming to a stop perpendicular to the two left travel lanes.
Carr and his female passenger exited their vehicle, the statement said, and then a motorcycle driven by Christopher Zike, 51, of Winthrop, struck the Explorer.
Zike, the statement continued, suffered serious injuries and was taken to Boston Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.
Zike grew up in Duryea, Pa., and had worked in archaeology and at the Museum of Science and Boston Children’s Museum before taking a job at the Ikea store in Stoughton, according to his brother, James DeAngelo.
“He was a very, very kind, loving, and fun-loving person, and a very quiet and private person in a lot of ways,” DeAngelo, 54, said from his home outside Harrisburg, Pa. “He made a lot of people happy. He loved the life he found in the Boston area, very much so. He loved living in Winthrop and just enjoying the area up there.”
Zike had never married and had no children. He was close with DeAngelo, his only sibling, and adored his niece, his brother said.
“When our daughter was young, he was very much the fun uncle. He would always be able to do things to have a good time with her when she was young,” he said. “It’s just a terrible loss for the family and for everyone who knew him, the people who knew him in Winthrop and back here in Pennsylvania and the folks he worked with for many years at Ikea. It’s just a terrible tragedy.”
Carr, officials said, was taken to Mass. General with “possible minor injuries” and later transferred to the custody of State Police, who booked him at the South Boston barracks.
Carr and his father both declined to comment as they left the courthouse Friday.
State Police said Carr, assigned to the Westfield barracks, was relieved of his duty following his arrest. The agency said Carr would be fired Friday.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Mr. Zike’s life and express our condolences to his family,” State Police Colonel Christopher Mason said in the statement. “Upon responding to the incident Troopers immediately began an investigation that ultimately led to the determination that the probationary member was responsible and that criminal charges were warranted. We also immediately relieved him of duty and then terminated his employment as his actions, as indicated by the evidence, are in direct violation of the standards of integrity, conduct, and professionalism demanded by the Department.”
Correspondent Jeremy C. Fox contributed to this report.