Merrimac Police Identify, Charge Man Who Crashed Car Into Home

Merrimac Police are investigating Saturday’s Honda minivan crash into an unoccupied home. (Courtesy photograph.)

A 41-year-old Derry, N.H., man was identified Wednesday by Merrimac police as the man who failed to stop for police earlier this month and crashed his minivan into an empty home.

Matthew Benoit, who is currently recovering from injuries in a Boston-area hospital, was charged with wanton destruction of property over $250, a felony; driving while under the influence of alcohol; speeding; negligent operation of a motor vehicle; failure to stop for a police officer; and a marked lanes violation, according to Police Chief Eric M. Shears.

Just after 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 4, an officer at the Merrimac police station saw a dark-colored 2007 Honda mini-van, with its hazard lights on, speeding east on East Main Street, said Chief Eric M. Shears. The officer attempted to stop the Honda near DeLeo’s Pizza, but the driver accelerated toward Merrimac Liquors plaza and drove straight into the parking lot of Merrimac Liquors. The car crashed into two concrete barriers and a cage containing residential propane tanks before rolling over several times through the parking lot, a wooden guard rail, a fence and then over a wall and into the side of the home.

Benoit was transported by ambulance to a local hospital and then later flown by medical helicopter to a Boston area hospital with serious injuries. He will be summonsed to Newburyport District Court at a later date.

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