Man facing charges in crash that killed Middleboro teacher
WAREHAM, Mass. (WHDH) -- A 20-year-old man charged with being drunk and causing a car crash that killed a respected former Middleborough High School teacher and coach has been ordered held on $50,000 bail.
Zachery Lemmo of Middleborough pleaded not guilty to charges including vehicular homicide Wednesday during his arraignment in Wareham District Court.
Prosecutors say Lemmo was driving an estimated 70 miles per hour when he ran a red light on Route 44 on Saturday night and struck a car driven by 61-year-old James Braga.
Prosecutors say Lemmo had a blood alcohol level in excess of .111, and was high on marijuana at the time. The legal limit to drive is .08.
“Mr. Lemmo was with his friends driving around in another motor vehicle smoking marijuana,” said Matt Libby, prosecutor.
In an affidavit, a state police detective wrote Lemmo was involved in “a lively debate over which car was faster” about an hour before the crash. He later got into his mother’s Saab at his family’s home near the crash site.
According to a police report, a woman at a nearby nursing home saw one car riding the bumper of another, driving erratically. State police believe he may have been trying to race his friends.
“The same witness indicated the defendant was drunk and they indicated that he in essence was, ‘driving like a jerk,’” Libby said.
Braga, a Vietnam veteran, taught business at the high school and coached boys' soccer until his retirement several years ago. Braga’s family reacted to his death.
“I can’t put into words how much this is going to be a loss for us for so long,” said James Braga, victim’s son.
“He was a great person. I think it’s easy to see with all the outpouring of support from everybody. My dad believed in the justice system and I think justice is going to be served eventually,” said Jonathan Braga, victim’s son.
Lemmo’s father was visibly upset in court, and left without commenting. He is expected to post his son’s bail.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.