Saturday, 2:15 PM
Man texting while driving when he hit Taunton teen with SUV, prosecutor says
By Anna Badkhen, Globe Staff
The man accused of killing a 13-year-old boy in a hit-and-run in Taunton told police he was behind the wheel typing a text message on his cellphone when he lost control of the sport utility vehicle and hit what he thought was a mailbox, a prosecutor said today in court.
Craig P. Bigos, 31, told investigators that he did not realize the SUV had struck the boy on the bicycle until he drove back down Poole Street hours later on his way to work at a restaurant, said Bristol County prosecutor Aaron T. Strojny.
The boy, Earman Machado, was sleeping over at a friend's house Thursday night. The teens had gone out at 12:30 a.m. to meet two girls, Strojny said today in Taunton District Court. Machado was riding a bicycle and his friend was walking on the soft shoulder of the road. Police said the friend, also 13, attempted to call 911, but was unable to get through on his cellphone.
Bigos hung his head in court today and was released on $5,000 bail. He was arraigned on charges that included motor vehicle homicide, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, and driving without a license. He is scheduled to return to court Jan. 23.
His lawyer, Daniel R. Igo, said in court that Bigos has never been convicted of a crime and has four children with his girlfriend of 12 years. He was driving from his motherís in New Bedford to the home he shares with his girlfriend on Williams Street. Eight of his relatives came today to court.
Police said Bigos's 1995 Ford Explorer was found parked at his home. After driving back by the crash scene, Bigos waited several hours before turning himself in Thursday afternoon, said Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney.
Taunton's schools superintendent, Arthur Stellar, said Thursday that the boy who was killed was a pupil at Friedman Middle School who has at least one school-age sibling, a brother who attends Taunton High School.
This morning a boy who said he was Machado's brother sat with on a bench at the back of the courtroom with another young man. They both wept.