Authorities say William Lowe, 34, of Pawtucket, R.I., was under the influence of alcohol when his Ford Explorer veered into an oncoming Hyundai Elantra on Cold Spring Road last Sunday. The driver of the Elantra, Lawrence George, 64, of Pownal, Vt., was killed.
On Monday, Lowe was arraigned in Northern Berkshire District Court on charges of motor vehicle homicide by operating under the influence and for speeding and open alcohol container violations.
This is Lowe's second drunken driving within the span of a month. As a result, Lowe's bail on a pending charge of operating under the influence of drugs in Uxbridge was revoked on Monday until Jan. 31.
For the Williamstown charges, Lowe's bail was set at $25,000 cash.
According to the police report submitted by Williamstown Police Sgt. Scott McGowan, Lowe and his passenger, Ashley Goodhart, stated they had lost control of the vehicle on a patch of snow and ice at about 10:30 a.m.
After the accident, Lowe tested positive for cocaine, cannabinoids, and had an estimated blood alcohol content of 0.06 percent, according to the report.
Goodhart told police that Lowe had "just cracked his first beer a few minutes before [the accident]," and clarified he had been drinking in the car, according to the report.
Several open bottles of beer were discovered in and around Lowe's vehicle after the crash, according to police. After analyzing the cans, McGowan wrote that they had been opened by the tab, not by the impact of the accident.
A paramedic's report also noted the smell of alcohol on Lowe's breath and alcohol paraphernalia at the scene, according to the report.
Lowe estimated he was driving 50 mph when he lost control of his vehicle, according to police. A witness has stated Lowe passed her going the same direction moments before the accident, driving at approximately 60 to 70 mph.
"I am in no doubt ... [the pass] unquestionably contributed to the tragic crash," McGowan said.
Goodhart and Lowe were taken to Berkshire Medical Center for their injuries. The passenger suffered a broken femur, but told police she never lost consciousness. There were no passengers in George's vehicle.
The two were traveling to Williamstown because Lowe is employed at an electrical contracting company currently doing work at Williams College, according to the report.
Attorney Michelle Mechta was appointed to represent Lowe.