August 23, 2014|8AM
METHUEN – A two car motor vehicle crash overnight on Riverside Drive in Methuen has left one man dead and a Lowell Police Officer charged with vehicular homicide and drunk driving.
Methuen Police responded to the area of Riverside Drive at Strathmore Road after receiving a report of a serious vehicle crash Saturday morning at approximately 12:30am.
Methuen Fire Department and Lawrence General Paramedics also responded to the Saturday morning crash.
A preliminary investigation by Methuen Police has revealed the following:
A 2013 Land Rover, Operated by 41 year old Eric Wayne, of Lowell, MA was travelling westbound on Riverside Drive. Simultaneously, a 1998 Mercury Mountaineer, Operated by a Briant Paula, Age 26 of 673 Essex Street, Lawrence, MA. was travelling eastbound on Riverside Drive.
A police report obtained by The Valley Patriot this morning states:
“It appears the Land Rover, crossed over the double yellow line and collided with the Mercury Mountaineer.”
The operator of the Mercury Mountaineer, Mr. Briant Paula, was trapped in the vehicle and required extrication by Methuen Firefighters utilizing the jaws of life. He was subsequently transported to Lawrence General Hospital suffering from massive trauma where he was pronounced dead.
Officer Wayne refused medical treatment.
As result of Methuen Police Officer’s observations and investigation, Wayne was subsequently placed under arrest and transported to The Methuen Police Station and charged with the following:
S90 C24 – Operating under the influence of Liquor
S90 C24g (a) – M/V Homicide
S90 C24(2)a – Negligently
S89 C4a – Marked Lanes Violation
S90 24i – Open Container Alcohol
Officer Wayne is being held on $100,000 cash bail pending arraignment at Lawrence District Court on Monday.
Valley Patriot sources say this is Wayne’s second drunk driving arrest, the first stemming from an incident on July 4, 2013 in Lowell where he was found to have an open container of alcohol in the vehicle upon his arrest.
There were no injuries or fatalities in the 2013 arrest. Wayne was placed on paid administrative leave at the time by the Lowell Police Department. Following an investigation Wayne was not found guilty on the charges and returned to duty.
Wayne is a popular officer in Lowell and appeared in the Micky Ward Movie “The Fighter”.