An Attleboro man, charged with drugged and drunk driving when he struck 12-year-old girl on a crosswalk, was set to come back to court on Thursday for a dangerousness hearing, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.
Richard M. Higgins, 78, was driving about 60 miles per hour on a 30-mile-per hour stretch of Old Colony Boulevard on the afternoon of Aug. 5, when he lost control of his Ford Explorer, according to prosecutors.
The SUV slammed into a parked vehicle, breaking Higgins’ front axle and sending his front wheel colliding with another parked vehicle. Higgins then allegedly struck a third vehicle and accelerated, hitting the 12-year-old in the crosswalk, before the SUV traveled another 50 feet and hit a fourth vehicle.
The girl was transported to Tufts Medical Center with injuries that were considered serious but not life-threatening.
Police spoke with Higgins and “detected an odor of alcohol coming from his person. He appeared to be unsteady and have glassy, bloodshot eyes,” prosecutors said. Higgins allegedly made statements admitting to consuming alcohol and Vicodin earlier in the day and to discarding beer cans from his vehicle before officers arrived.
He was arraigned in South Boston Municipal Court on charges of operating under the influence of liquor as a fifth offense, operating under the influence of drugs, operating a motor vehicle after suspension for operating under the influence, operating under the influence after suspension for operating under the influence, leaving the scene of personal injury, leaving the scene of property damage, negligent operation, and speeding.
Higgins was previously convicted of operating under the influence of alcohol in 1962, 1996, 1998, and 2007.