Springfield Man Arraigned in Easthampton Crash, Motorcyclists Killed Identified
EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) — A Springfield man charged with two counts of Felony Motor Vehicle Homicide after a crash that killed two motorcycle riders Thursday, has pled not guilty.
45-year-0ld, James Walter Ainsworth was arraigned in Northampton District Court Friday morning. He appeared before the judge pleading not guilty and was held on $100,000 cash bail.
The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office reports that he was taken into custody Thursday night by Easthampton Police at Baystate Medical Center where he was being treated for injuries. The crash happened Thursday afternoon on Route 5 in Easthampton, just past the Holyoke city line. The road was closed for several hours.
Witnesses reported the SUV Ainsworth was driving, was traveling southbound when it crossed the northbound lane and collided head-on with the motorcycle.
62-year-old, Edward McGrath of Holyoke, and his 29-year-old daughter, Brittney McGrath of Brooklyn, NY were both killed in the crash.
Originally Ainsworth claimed that his passenger, Christine Rose Dunlap, was the driver. She’s 27 and from Greenfield.
However following the investigation, officers determined that Ainsworth was under the influence of narcotics at the time of the crash. Ainsworth has been charged with 2 counts of Felony Motor Vehicle Homicide, negligent and impaired by drugs, Operating Under the Influence, Drugs, Marked lanes violation, Negligent Operating of a Motor Vehicle, to endanger, Operating after License Revocation, and Possession of Class A, Heroin.
The Northwestern DA’s office reports that Dunlap was found be in possession of heroin and also had an active warrant for her arrest out of Florida. She also appeared in court Friday on a Fugitive from Justice, Warrant charge and a Possession of Class A, Heroin charge. She was ordered held on $2,500 cash bail.
Both cases have been continued to September 29 for a pre-trial conference.
The Easthampton Police Department, State Police and the DA’s office continue to investigate this crash.