SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

August 21, 2013

Salem man says highway OUI crash not his fault

SALEM — A serial drunk driver facing a potential seventh conviction after an accident last year that sent two women to the hospital insisted to jurors yesterday that it wasn’t his fault.

“Her car flew in front of me,” Charles E. Snow III, 53, told jurors from the witness stand in Salem Superior Court yesterday afternoon.

Snow, of 504 Loring Ave., Salem, could be sentenced to up to five years in state prison if found guilty of the charge, which was filed after the May 27, 2012, crash.

According to police and the woman whose car he struck and then pushed more than 150 yards, sideways, down Route 128/95 in Lynnfield, Snow appeared to take no action to stop after the collision. The impact spun the woman’s Volkswagen Beetle sideways, where it became attached to the plow mount on Snow’s 1989 Ford F-350.

On Monday, the woman, Bessie Broufas, described the harrowing sideways ride down the highway, a metal plow hook just inches from her head, and the entire left side of her body covered in broken glass and bleeding cuts. She and her teenage daughter were taken to Salem Hospital.

But yesterday, Snow insisted that he was the one who was badly hurt, when he “hit the brakes” after being “cut off” by Broufas.

Because he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, he said, his face slammed into the steering wheel, breaking a capped tooth and giving him a headache.

“I seen a flash of light, like the old days in football,” Snow testified.

He insisted that he tried again to brake, but that this time, the pedal was hard.

Then, once the Beetle and the truck were in the breakdown lane, Snow said, he was concerned because his truck was still partly in the travel lane, so he decided to back up.

He says he didn’t see the good Samaritan who had pulled over, before he ended up backing into her car as well. He went on to suggest that she had crashed into him.

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