TAUNTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A Rehoboth family is sharing their outrage after a Taunton police sergeant was charged with drunken driving in connection with a violent crash over the weekend that left one of their loved ones hospitalized with serious injuries.
Shawn Smith, 49, of Raynham, has been placed on administrative leave after being arrested for a suspected drunken-driving crash that left a motorcyclist seriously injured, officials said.
Smith was arraigned Monday in Taunton District Court on charges including operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of liquor causing serious injury and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. Smith has been a member of the Taunton Police Department since November 2000.
Officers responding to a reported crash between a pickup truck and a motorcycle at the intersection of Harvey Street and South Crane Avenue around 1:30 a.m. Sunday found a 52-year-old Rehoboth man suffering from serious injuries, Walsh said. The man, later identified as George Haskell, was taken to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, and his sister Cheryl Shepley said his injuries were severe.
“The whole left side of his body has been broken,” Shepley said, adding the father of eight has already undergone two surgeries.
“The nurses at the hospital approached me and said they could not understand how they could say his injuries are not life-threatening,” said Haskell’s mother. “When he’s on a ventilator and almost every bone in his body is broken.”
According to court documents, witnesses said they saw Smith swerving and driving in the opposite travel lane before the crash, and police at the scene smelled alcohol on his breath.
Haskell’s best friend Jeff Thorpe was riding just ahead of him on his bike when it happened.
“If I wasn’t there, and these other people weren’t there, this guy was going to take off and leave my friend in the gutter for dead,” Thorpe said.
Shepley said she was furious that a member of the police was allegedly driving drunk.
“I support the police and the firefighters and our military … that someone in that capacity to get behind the wheel [while drunk] is infuriating,” Shepley said.
Smith was released on bail and ordered not to drink alcohol or to drive until the case is resolved.
“Gets his pay, gets to go home to his family, my buddy almost dies laying up busted in the hospital right now,” Thorpe said. “It’s not right.”
The investigation remains under active investigation with assistance by State Police detectives assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.
This is a developing news story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest details.
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