HOLYOKE, Mass. (AP) - A Springfield man charged with causing a weekend car crash that killed two high school friends of Holyoke's mayor pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday.
Jonathan Lopez, 21, was ordered held on $40,000 cash bail after pleading not guilty to vehicular homicide, failure to stop for a red light and leaving the scene.
Lopez, driving his mother's Cadillac, ran a red light at about 2 a.m. Sunday and struck a Honda Civic with four occupants, police said.
Two of the Honda's occupants, identified by Mayor Alex Morse as Moira Murphy and Brian Callahan, both 23, died. The other two occupants were hospitalized. Police did not say who was driving.
"Words cannot express the sadness our community feels at the loss of Moira Murphy and Brian Callahan in last night's tragedy," Morse wrote on his Facebook page. "Moira and Brian were proud members of Holyoke High School's class of 2008, and were much beloved by all who had the good fortune of knowing them."
Morse graduated a year ahead of the victims.
Lopez and a passenger had left the scene by the time police arrived, investigators said. He was tracked down later.
Lopez told police that the Honda had run a red light.
His lawyer argued for $1,000 bail, saying Lopez was a lifelong Springfield resident who lived with his mother and stepfather and was not a flight risk.
But prosecutor Melissa Doran told the judge that Lopez is on pre-trial probation on two assault and battery cases in Northampton District Court and is a flight risk.