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Middleborough man denies drunken driving charges

March 13, 2013

WAREHAM, Mass. (AP) — James Braga wasn’t loved just by his family. He was loved and respected by the entire town of Middleborough, where he had mentored hundreds of youths as a teacher and coach at the high school, one of his sons said.

Braga, 61, was killed last weekend when his car was struck by a 20-year-old man prosecutors say was driving drunk and high on marijuana.

“He was just a great person and, you know, it’s a huge loss for our family, but it’s also a huge loss for the whole community,” Jonathan Braga, 29, one of the victim’s three grown sons, told The Enterprise (http://bit.ly/ZKICiM ) of Brockton. “It’s been like a shock wave, I think.”

Since the accident, Braga’s family has been overwhelmed by calls from around the country from people offering their condolences, said another son, James D. Braga.

Braga, a Vietnam veteran, taught marketing and business classes and also coached boys soccer for years before his retirement.

Braga’s three sons sat in tears, their arms around one another, as the man suspected of causing the accident on Route 44 on Saturday night was arraigned Wednesday in Wareham District Court.

Zachery Lemmo, 20, of Middleborough, pleaded not guilty to motor vehicle homicide while driving drunk. He was ordered held on $50,000 bail.

He was driving an estimated 70 mph when he ran a red light and struck Braga’s car, prosecutors said in court. He had a blood alcohol level in excess of .111 percent, and was on marijuana at the time, they said. The legal limit to drive is .08 percent.

Lemmo’s father also sat tearfully in court.

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