The man charged in connection with a fatal crash in Holyoke over the weekend, 21-year-old Jonathan Lopez, appeared in Holyoke District Court on Monday.
Lopez is facing several charges including two counts of motor vehicle homicide for the crash that killed Moria Murphy, 23, and Brian Callahan, 23. That crash also injured two other Holyoke residents. Not guilty pleas were entered on Lopez's behalf.
According to police, Lopez ran a red light at Beech and Dwight streets when his car collided with a Honda Civic around 2 a.m. When authorities arrived on scene, the Cadillac that Lopez has now admitted to driving was empty. He initially gave police a false identify and denied having any involvement in the crash. But in a later interview, Lopez told police he was, in fact, the one driving the car.
"Mr. Lopez's statement makes clear that he believes this was an accident. He is, as I mentioned, only 21 years old. He responded, I think, out of fear," said Lopez's defense attorney, Jaime Rogers.
The assistant district attorney described to the court what passengers in Lopez's car say happened.
"They indicate that the defendant had the music very loud, that he was driving at a fast rate of speed, that they had asked him to slow down, that he had run a couple of red lights on Beech Street and that when they approached this last intersection with Dwight Street that in fact the light they were coming to was red," said Assistant District Attorney Melissa Doran.
Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse went to high school with the two victims. He described for CBS 3 just a snapshot of what the two were like.
"They were just two very, very happy people, friendly, happy, always smiling, joking around, making sure that people around them were smiling and happy as well," said Morse.
The two others injured in the crash, Tim Beaudry and Ryan Kelly, are expected to be OK.
Lopez was held on $40,000 cash bail or $400,000 surety. He is due back in court on Oct. 10 for a pre-trial conference.
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