By Tom Relihan, The Enterprise –
BROCKTON, Mass. — A 33-year-old Pembroke woman told crash investigators that she was texting with her drug dealer in the moments before the fatal crash in Brockton on Tuesday, according to court documents.
Danielle Mastro, 33, of 23 Acorn Lane, Pembroke, was arrested and charged with motor vehicle homicide and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. She was also charged by Brockton police with driving a suspended license and leaving the scene of an accident, The Enterprise reported.
Mastro also told police that she left the scene of the crash looking for her drug dealer in the area to pick up $50 worth of heroin, before returning to deal with the aftermath, according to court documents obtained by The Enterprise on Wednesday.
The three-vehicle fatal crash that occurred near 179 Quincy St. about 2:20 p.m. on Tuesday, killing 58-year-old Deborah Combra, of Bridgewater, who is the mother of a Whitman auxiliary police officer. Police say a woman driving negligently who was wanted in another driving incident earlier in the day caused the crash.
As paramedics rushed the female driver of the SUV to a nearby hospital, officers were simultaneously putting handcuffs on the driver of another car who apparently walked away from the scene and was found on Pinehurst Avenue.
Three vehicles were involved, including the dump truck. Mayor Bill Carpenter, who was on scene, said it is believed that a gray Audi driven by Mastro apparently rear-ended a silver SUV, sending it into the opposite lane where the dump truck loaded with 22 tons of dirt was oncoming.
“There was nothing (the dump truck driver) could do,” Carpenter said as tow crews and firefighters worked to clean up debris behind him. “He made a last second attempt to get out of the way, and that’s how he ended up on the yard.
Beth Stone, a spokesman for Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz, said the preliminary investigation indicates the Chevrolet Equinox SUV was driving north on Quincy Street when it was hit from behind by Mastro.
“The preliminary investigation further determined that the rear-ending impact of the Audi caused the Chevy Equinox to veer into the southbound side of Quincy Street and into the path of a 12-wheel heavy dump truck that was traveling southbound,” she said. “The impact caused the truck to rollover and lose its load before coming to rest on its side.”
Numerous emergency vehicles responded to the scene, and the crash closed the road for at least three hours in front of Allied Pediatrics and the Department of Mental Health facility next door.
Whitman Police Chief Scott Benton said the victim was the mother of an auxiliary officer on his department, Michael Combra.
“On behalf of the Whitman Police Department and the entire community of Whitman, I offer my sincere condolences to Officer Combra and his family during this extremely difficult time,” Benton said. “Earlier this evening, I notified the department about what has occurred, and I have asked the members of our department to please keep Officer Combra and his family in their thoughts and prayers.”
Carpenter said at least two of the people involved are believed at this time to be employees of the Department of Mental Health who were returning to work.
Police say the driver of the Audi, Mastro, walked away from the collision and was found north of the scene on Pinehurst Avenue. She was treated there by paramedics, but refused to be taken to the hospital.