SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

March 7, 2013

Ex-Endicott student admits driving drunk before crash

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — BEVERLY — A former Endicott College student from Georgia yesterday admitted to a drunken-driving charge, months after an accident that sent him to the hospital.

Edward Hansen, 23, of Acworth had apparently been resigned to his fate since shortly after impact, when he held out his wrists and told Beverly Patrolman Hal Geary, “Just (expletive) arrest me for DWI.”

Police didn’t, because they and paramedics concluded that Hansen was injured and should be taken to a hospital after the Oct. 29 crash on Cross Street in Beverly.

Yesterday, he appeared in Salem District Court in response to a summons charging him with drunken driving, speeding and failing to stay within marked lanes.

Prosecutor Patrick Collins told a judge that the crash occurred around 9 p.m. after Hansen drove his Audi sedan an estimated 50 to 60 mph on the wrong side of the road. He lost control and crashed into a parked Honda Pilot SUV. Both vehicles were heavily damaged, the prosecutor said.

The officer noticed that Hansen smelled “strongly” of alcohol and had glassy eyes.

According to a police report, witnesses told police that Hansen attempted to start his wrecked car numerous times while they waited for police to arrive. When one man, who had heard the crash from inside his house, told him to wait because police were on their way, Hansen started sobbing, telling him, “I’m gonna get a DUI.”

The man said Hansen then called his father.

At the hospital, Hansen refused to consent to a blood test to determine his level of intoxication, according to a police report.

Collins urged Judge Sabita Singh to impose a guilty finding in the case and sentence Hansen to a year of probation, pointing to the high speed that Hansen was driving, on the wrong side of the road, and how drunk he appeared at the time.

Defense lawyer Joseph Waldbaum urged the judge to continue the case without a finding for a year, citing the penalties his client has already faced, including having to leave Endicott, as well as his willingness to admit that he’d been drinking that night.

The judge went along with the defense request but added a slightly longer license suspension of 60 days. She also ordered that Hansen pay restitution to the owner of the parked SUV. A hearing to determine the amount is scheduled for April 25.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.