MILTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A suspected drugged driver who hit and injured a landscaper while leading police on a wild chase in a stolen car in Milton on Saturday has pleaded not guilty to several charges including operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs causing serious bodily injury.
James Jones, 32, was arraigned Monday in Quincy District Court on charges of receiving a stolen motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, refusing to stop for police, and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.
An officer who came across a minor motor vehicle crash on Brook Road about 10:30 a.m. noticed one of the drivers flee the scene as he approached, according to Milton police.
As the officer pursued the Nissan Maxima with his lights and sirens activated, police say Jones crossed the double yellow lines to pass another car in traffic, prompting the officer to call off the chase.
But soon after, Jones sideswiped another car and hit the owner of South Shore Landscaping, who was standing outside his truck on the side of the street before veering across the road and slamming into an occupied car that was parked in a nearby driveway, according to police.
The landscaper was taken to Boston Medical Center with what were considered non-life-threatening injuries.
Neighbors described the chaotic aftermath of the crash.
“It was terrifying,” said one neighbor, who didn’t want to be identified. “[The victim] was clearly breathing but his eyes were closed and he wasn’t responding to anything I was saying and his nose started bleeding within a few seconds of me arriving there.”
Jones told police that he had been smoking crack all night before the crash, court documents said.
Witness Taylor Horner said it’s remarkable that no one was killed in the crash.
“I was close to death for sure. Inevitable death,” he said. “I got lucky.”
Jones, who is said to be homeless, was ordered held without bail. He is due back in court in January.
An investigation is ongoing.
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