Driver sentenced for Arborway crash

A West Roxbury man was sentenced to a year behind bars on Feb. 3 for causing a collision on the Arborway, which left one of his passengers and the driver of a second vehicle with life-changing injuries, according to a press release.

Papadopoulos, 20, was convicted at Brighton Municipal Court last month of negligent operation of a motor vehicle. At the time of the crash on Sept. 6, 2013, he had been driving at almost twice the speed limit, according to the press release.

Papadopoulos was driving westbound on the Arborway at 2 p.m. on the day of the crash with three younger passengers: a 14 year old from Chestnut Hill, another 14 year old from West Roxbury, and a 15 year old also from West Roxbury. One 14-year-old passenger now uses a wheelchair due to traumatic brain injury, the other 14-year-old passenger was seriously injured, and the 15-year-old suffered less serious injuries.

Papadopoulos was traveling well over the speed limit when his car crossed the center line and crashed into a pickup truck traveling in the opposite direction. The driver of the truck, a 33-year-old Dorchester man, can no longer move about or communicate on his own. His passenger, a 34-year-old man from Quincy, suffered less serious injuries.

Assistant District Attorney Montez Haywood recommended two years in prison, which is the maximum for a charge of negligent operation, with 18 months of that sentence to be behind bars. Haywood also recommended that Papadopoulos serve 150 hours of community service a year during a five-year probation period upon release, and requested that the service be performed at a facility for traumatic brain injury patients.

Judge Debra Shopteese ultimately imposed two years in a house of correction, with one year to serve and the balance suspended for five years. Shopteese ordered that Papadopoulos perform 2,000 hours of community service during that time, and not to use any social media until the service is completed.

The families of the two most badly-injured victims submitted an impact statement to the court prior to sentencing.

“The sentencing of Nikolas Papadopoulos to jail closes this chapter of the accident, but the consequences of his actions on September 6, 2013, will never end for our families,” they wrote. “His life will only be briefly interrupted. The interruption in our families’ lives will not end. Our families want to thank all the first responders, the State Police, and the firefighters who helped save the lives of [the victims], and the District Attorney’s office for their tireless effort to see that justice was done.”

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