William James Pires, 20, appeared before a judge in New Bedford District Court Friday. The Fairhaven man is charged in a February 6th hit and run that left two people seriously injured. One of them, Christine Machado, 40, remains in a coma.
“She was dragged for 25 feet. She’s got brain injuries. Her head was split open. They’ve got tubes coming out of everywhere,” Machado’s son, Seth, 21, told reporters.
Machado and her friend Terrance Hope, 50, were walking in the snow covered street around 2 am when they were struck from behind. Machado was rushed by med-flight to Boston Medical Center where she remains in critical condition.
Hope tells ABC6 News that he never saw the car coming and doesn’t remember much about the accident. He woke up in the ambulance. He was taken to St. Luke’s for treatment. He suffered a broken nose, ribs and is on crutches because his knees require surgery.
“I must have had an angel on my shoulders that night for me to even be standing here,” he said.
During the arraignment prosecutors suggested that there is evidence that Pires tried to cover up the accident. The ADA told the Judge that the day after the hit and run Pires and his mother attempted to get his vehicle fixed. The owner of the garage suspected something was off and after hearing about the accident on the news alerted police. Attorney Krysten Condon says her client’s car was hit by a tree branch.
“I have no doubt when all the evidence is in he’s going to be found innocent of all charges,” she said.
Machado’s brother, Michael, was in the courtroom. He and other family members were upset by the details of the case, and even more bothered by the law’s limitations. Police are only able to charge Pires with a misdemeanor.
“The fact that he fled the scene and tried to cover it up, tried to pack snow on his car so that no body would see the damage, to me that’s a person who knew what he did and was trying to get away with it,” he told reporters.
Investigators are asking for the public’s help in the case. Anyone who saw Pires in New Bedford prior to 2 am or in Fairhaven after 2 am that day are urged to call police. Pires’ vehicle is described as a gray 2001 Mercedes with 4 doors.
Pires made bail. He has to wear a GPS monitoring device and is on home confinement. He is due back in court next month.