Police have made an arrest in connection with a head-on collision that happened on Route 5 Thursday afternoon, in which a father and daughter on a motorcycle were killed.
Authorities said the driver was under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident and was charged with possession of heroin.
The operator of the motorcycle, Edward McGrath, 62, of Holyoke, and his daughter Brittney McGrath, 29, of Brooklyn, NY, were both killed in the accident, according to a news release from Easthampton police.
James Walter Ainsworth, 45, of Springfield, was charged with two counts of felony motor vehicle homicide while impaired by drugs, according to Mary Carey, communications director for the Northwestern District Attorney's Office.
Witnesses said Ainsworth was traveling southbound in an SUV when he crossed into the oncoming lane and struck the motorcycle. The accident occurred just north of the Holyoke and Easthampton border, police said.
The investigation revealed that Ainsworth was under the influence of narcotics at the time of the crash. Easthampton police took Ainsworth into custody Thursday night while he was at Baystate Medical Center. He was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
In addition, Ainsworth was charged with possession of heroin, operating after license revocation, negligent operation of a motor vehicle to engender, operating under the influence of drugs and he was charged with a marked lane violation, according to Easthampton police.
The passenger riding along with Ainsworth, identified as Christina R. Dunlap, 27, of Greenfield, was also taken to Baystate Medical Center. She was found to be in possession of heroin and had an active warrant for being a fugitive from justice in Florida, police said.
Dunlap was charged accordingly.
Ainsworth and Dunlap were arraigned Friday morning in the Northampton District Court. Ainsworth was jailed in lieu of $100,000 cash bail, and Dunlap was held on $2,500 cash bail. Both cases were continued until Sept. 29 for a pretrial conference.
The accident remains under investigation by state and local police and the Northwestern District Attorney's Office.
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