A 36-year-old man has lost his legs after being pinned between two cars overnight by a driver who was allegedly drunk behind the wheel in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Twenty-two-year-old Jeffrey Pillco pleaded not guilty and was ordered to be held on $10,000 bail during his arraignment in Worcester District Court on a charge of operating under the influence of alcohol causing serious injury following the Vernon Street crash that happened just before midnight on Sunday.
Pillco looked straight ahead as prosecutors outlined the police report that detailed the horrifying crash on Vernon Street that happened just before midnight on Sunday.
Video exclusive to NBC10 Boston showed the moment investigators said Pillco veered off of Vernon Street and smashed into Ramon "Andy" Rodriguez, severing both of his legs.
Rodriguez was grabbing some things from the trunk and never saw the driver coming.
Police found Rodriguez trapped in the wreckage and pinned between vehicles.
Officers said Pillco reeked of booze and told them he had a few beers during the day and was driving around looking for his girlfriend after she stormed out of their house during a fight. An officer noted in his report that the smell of alcohol was "so strong that he actually had to roll down the window," a prosecutor said in court.
According to court documents, police describe Pillco's eyes Sunday as "glassy and bloodshot red" and say he was "slurring his speech."
Prosecutors said in court that he did submit to a breathalyzer test, with the result being 0.17.
A resident who lives near the crash said he ran outside to help when he heard it happened.
"So sad, so sad ... this kind of thing should not happen," he told NBC10 Boston. "You never know when it can be your own family."
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Friends say Rodriguez is heavily sedated in the hospital to keep his body calm. As he faces a long road to recovery, they are trying to figure out what they can do to help.
“We assume there’s going to be a strong need for some money for his rehabilitation especially, so we are just going to raise as much money as we can,” said Peter Bacchiocchi.
Rodriguez is a bartender at MB Lounge in Worcester.
“It’s kind of ironic because he was always the one to not overserve people," said lounge owner Marco Guinette. "This whole accident thing is a shock to everybody."
Rodriguez's friends say his personality can lift anyone's spirits, and now is their time to return the favor.
"To have this happen to him by a drunk driver, it's sickening. It really is."
A judge ordered Pillco to turn over his passport and to avoid alcohol and driving. He's due back in court March 20.
The investigation into the crash is ongoing.