Woman pleads not guilty in crash that killed toddler

“She’s a real good person and it’s a tragic, tragic accident.”

In Suffolk Superior Court, Charlene Casey listened during her arraignment on a motor vehicle homicide charge stemming from a crash in South Boston which claimed the life of then-two-year-old Colin McGrath.
In Suffolk Superior Court, Charlene Casey listened during her arraignment on a motor vehicle homicide charge stemming from a crash in South Boston which claimed the life of then-two-year-old Colin McGrath. –Lane Turner / Globe Staff

BOSTON (AP) — A 63-year-old Boston woman pleaded not guilty Thursday to motor vehicle homicide in a “chain reaction” crash that killed a toddler and seriously injured his sister and their caretaker last year.

A Suffolk Superior Court judge ordered Charlene Casey held on $5,000 bail during her arraignment in the Boston courthouse.

Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins’ office said Casey was driving in the city’s South Boston neighborhood on July 25, 2018, when she accelerated through an intersection.

Casey’s car struck a van that then lost control and struck 22-month-old Colin McGrath, his 4-year-old sister and their caretaker as they stood on the sidewalk.

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McGrath was pronounced dead at Boston Medical Center. His sister suffered broken bones, a lacerated liver and other injuries. The caretaker was not seriously injured.

Rollins’ office argued the crash was preventable. Casey had been legally obligated to yield the right of way to other vehicles in the intersection but failed to do so, prosecutors said. A grand jury indicted Casey on Nov. 25.

Casey’s lawyer Steven Boozang said his client was remorseful.

“Every time she drove by, all she could do was picture the little kids,” he said outside the courthouse. “She’s a real good person and it’s a tragic, tragic accident.”

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