Prosecutors: Driver in fatal crash near airport was drunk

BOSTON (AP) — Authorities say the driver of a car that struck a hotel shuttle van near Boston’s airport and killed two visitors from Texas was drunk.

Steven Birenbaum, of Swampscott, was released on $5,000 bail after pleading not guilty at his arraignment Monday to several charges, including two counts of manslaughter while driving drunk.

Prosecutors say the 27-year-old Birenbaum was speeding and under the influence of marijuana and prescription medications when he struck the rear of the van, which was heading for a hotel after picking up travelers from Logan International Airport at about 1 a.m. on Aug. 31.

Two van passengers, 59-year-old Joseph Rodriguez and 47-year-old Sandra Arreola, both of El Paso, Texas, were ejected and died.

Birenbaum’s attorney called the crash an “unfortunate, tragic accident” and says his client is remorseful.

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