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ER doc faces drunken driving charges after wild Wellesley crash

Published On: Nov 14 2012 05:07:42 AM HST

An emergency room doctor has been charged in connection with a crash in Wellesley that injured a 78-year-old man.

WELLESLEY, Mass. -

An emergency room doctor was arrested Friday on drunken driving charges after she crashed her vehicle into a grocery store van in Wellesley, smashed into a fence on the store's property and struck another car.

Kristin Howard, 56, was in the parking lot of the Whole Foods Market on Washington Street at about 8:45 a.m. when she struck the van. Police said Howard then reversed and hit a fence, reversed again and hit the fence again.

Howard then then accelerated across the parking lot, striking a granite post, police said. Her car became airborne and sideswiped a large tree before exiting the parking area.

Howard then struck a Mercury Marquis that was in the northbound lane on State Street, pushing the Mercury into the southbound lane and into a dump truck and trailer, police said.

The driver of the Marquis, 78-year-old Paul McDonald of Wellesley, suffered injuries and was taken to a local hospital. "Out of nowhere, I got hammered, and I thought it was the end of the world. I thought a bomb went off inside the car. And then I had the feeling the roof was collapsing and I said, 'Oh, what a way to go.'" McDonald said he suffered two cracked ribs.

MORE: Victim struck by Howard talks with NewsCenter 5

Howard is an emergency medicine physician at Newton Wellesley Hospital, according to the Board of Registration in Medicine.

"She was wearing scrubs and indicated she was on her way to work at Newton Wellesley, where she is a doctor in the emergency room," prosecutor Matt Friedel said.

Inside the vehicle, police said they found class C and E controlled substances.

"The prescriptions were from Dr. Howard to Kristin Howard," Friedel said.

Massachusetts forbids doctors from self-prescribing medication.

Howard's defense attorney said Howard is struggling to deal with a sick mother.

"She has a reputation for trying to save lives. And was given the award of doctor of the year at Newton Wellesley in 2009," defense attorney Katherine Hatch said.

She was arraigned on charges of operating under the influence of drugs and alcohol among other charges. Howard was released on personal recognizance.

Howard was relieved of duties at Newton Wellesley and told to not report for any assigned shifts.
 

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