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Two Springfield Men Arraigned on Fatal Crash Involving Couch Cushions

COURT RAWSPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Two men indicted in the death of a Springfield teenager who was killed while they were allegedly moving couch cushions off of I-91 in Longmeadow last November have pled not guilty.

32-year-old, Joel Nieves Cruz and 43-year-old, Rafael Perez Jr. were summonsed to appear in Hampden Superior Court in Springfield Wednesday morning for their arraignment.  They appeared and were released on personal recognizance by the Judge while they await their next court date.  Both men are city residents.

On November 10, 2013 at around 6:00 p.m. seventeen year old Skyler Anderson-Coughlin was traveling on 1-91 going North through Longmeadow when he had to swerve to avoid couch cushions that had fallen off another vehicle.  Coughlin’s Jeep ended up striking a tractor-trailer and burst into flames.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Following an investigation into the accident, police determined that Cruz and Perez Jr. were the ones who were in that vehicle that the cushions had come from.

Both men have been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Cruz, who was driving according to police, is also charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing death.  Their next court date for a pre-trial hearing is scheduled for January 6, 2015.






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  • IpseNobis

    What? They’re families didn’t hide them?

  • David

    This is a tough one, but its going to be hard to convict, when the action of the driver swerving actually caused the death. Lets not even mention that if it wasn’t a tractor trailer he hit, he might also not be dead. If he drove over the cushion, and the cushion caused the death, then maybe. This is going to be reduced down to almost nothing, and probably be settled in a civil court, and they don’t look like they have deep pockets.

  • Kyle Wheeler

    They charge these guys????

    They never charged Ale Moultrie!!! 2 fatal pedestrian accidents attributed to Ale Moultrie of Springfield, 1 year and 2 miles apart!!!!!





    • Zachary Callaghan

      Wow. Just read that story and that is astounding….clear police favoritism right there. Even let his brother interfere with the initial investigation and statement collection

  • Guest

    Lets be real. If these guys were Caucasian middle or upper-class guys this story would’ve read differently. Remember the kid that got away with killing 4 teens because he suffered from Affluenza? He literally got off because they claimed that he was too rich to know better. But this is America’s true face. Sure, on July 4th we all put some make-up on it to pretty it up a little but beneath that make-up is a face that tells the true story of a country that’s no longer a Democracy, a land where there’s two different judicial systems. One that’s there to throw young minority and lower income Caucasian kids in jail on any claim possible just to have them work for $2 a day which is modern day slavery and another system that’s there to serve the elite and to protect the elite from the peons. The ppl we supposedly put in office serve them, they rather make cuts to education and even programs like SNAP instead of taxing these ppl as they deserve to be taxed. Sure, they love putting us against each other by telling us that those that are on Welfare are the problem, but if you do the simple math you would know that it’s no more than divide and conquer at this point. Sorry, I strayed off-course with this one lol

  • aplegare

    It is a driver’s responsibility to secure ANY load and ANYTHING that results as a consequence of the failure to do so IS the responsibility of that driver. Plain and simple. Culpability is clear.