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Driver in Springfield fatal pleads not guilty

April 1, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A Springfield man has pleaded not guilty to charges including motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of drugs in a fatal hit-and-run crash.

Twenty-five-year-old Mark Perez was arraigned Monday in connection with the crash Saturday morning that took the life of a 55-year-old Jeanne McLain of Westfield. McLain was a passenger in car driven by Dennis O’Connor, who survived.

Among the charges against Perez are leaving the scene of an accident, car theft and drug charges. He is held on $250,000 cash bail.

Police say the SUV Perez was driving was stolen, and when they followed a trail of auto fluids and parts to his home, they uncovered large amounts of cocaine and marijuana and packaging materials commonly used by drug dealers.

Two others are also facing drug charges.

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