Drunken Driver Causes Fatal Wrong-Way Crash, Leaving Two Dead and Community in Mourning

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Floriano Arruda, 73

A fatal accident occurred on Christmas night in Somerset, Massachusetts, involving a drunken driver, resulting in two deaths and several injuries. According to Massachusetts State Police, the crash was caused by a drunken driver traveling the wrong way on Route 6. The collision led to the death of Floriano Arruda, 73, and his 15-year-old grandson, Jacoby Arruda, both from Seekonk. Additionally, 68-year-old Donna Arruda, Floriano’s wife, was critically injured and hospitalized at Rhode Island Hospital.

Donna Arruda, 68

All six individuals involved in the accident were hospitalized. The driver responsible for the crash, identified as Adam M. Gauthier, 41, from New York City, was arrested and is facing multiple charges including manslaughter, motor vehicle homicide while under the influence, and operating under the influence. Gauthier was arraigned in St. Luke’s Hospital, New Bedford, where he is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, and held on $100,000 cash bail.

15-year-old Jacoby Arruda

The crash, which occurred around 11:10 p.m. on the westbound side of Veterans Memorial Bridge connecting Somerset with Fall River, resulted in the closure of the bridge. The scene depicted two heavily damaged vehicles, including a 2023 Land Rover SUV driven by Gauthier and a 2014 Infiniti QX50 SUV carrying the Arrudas. Two women from Taunton in a third vehicle, a 2019 Honda Accord, were also hospitalized but expected to survive.

Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn expressed deep sorrow over the incident, particularly given its occurrence on Christmas night. The crash is still under investigation by the state police. Gauthier, who previously lived in Somerset, allegedly collided head-on with the Arruda’s SUV in his Land Rover. This tragic event highlights the severe consequences of driving under the influence, particularly during holidays.

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