SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

May 25, 2013

Driver charged in fatal crash

PEABODY — A Peabody man has been charged with motor vehicle homicide and drunken driving after a crash on Walnut Street killed his passenger shortly after midnight Thursday.

Michael J. Fowler, 38, of 3 Highland Terrace, Apt. 2, was ordered held on $50,000 cash bail by Judge Matthew Nestor following Fowler’s arraignment yesterday in Peabody District Court.

Authorities said the crash killed Daniel Walker, 31, of 84 Endicott St., Apt. 2, in Peabody. An emergency medical technician who had come upon the accident tended to Walker, but Walker was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s Office.

Police said they were notified of a crash in the area of 86 Walnut St. about 12:36 a.m. When they arrived, police found a 2010 Hyundai had crashed into a parked flatbed tow truck; an EMT was trying to assist the front-seat passenger.

The EMT told police he was driving back to the ambulance company when he saw a man get out of the car and start running. Police said they apprehended the suspect, identified as Fowler, a short time later on Northend Street — less than a half-mile from his listed address.

According to police scanner reports, Fowler was found with blood on his face. He failed field sobriety tests and refused the Breathalyzer, Lt. Arthur Yeo said. He was arrested and taken to Salem Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, then released back to Peabody police.

Yeo said the tow truck that Fowler struck belonged to Phil’s Towing and was parked illegally on the street near a driver’s residence.

“Technically, there’s an ordinance that prohibits parking overnight for commercial vehicles,” Yeo said. He added that police could have ticketed the vehicle or even towed it “if it presented a safety hazard.”

Yeo said there was no indication that Fowler tried to brake before the crash.

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