September 18, 2013

Driver in July crash in Thorndike faces manslaughter, other charges

By Jesse Scardina jscardina@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

A Rhode Island man was arrested Wednesday and charged with manslaughter and three other felonies in connection with a one-car crash on July 4 in Thorndike.

click image to enlarge

Alvaro Soares

Contributed photo

The man, Alvaro Soares, 27, was driving from a family gathering with two passengers when the car struck a utility pole on Unity Road. Oscar Tizon-Brito, 23, a Peruvian national living in Rhode Island, was killed. Soares and his sister, Kelley Soares, 22, were seriously injured.

Waldo County Deputy District Attorney Eric Walker said an arrest warrant was issued for Soares, who lives in Rhode Island, late last week, and he turned himself in Wednesday morning at the Waldo County Jail.

Soares, who Walker said still is recovering from injuries he suffered in the crash, posted a $50,000 unsecured bond. Conditions of his release include no possession of drugs or alcohol. He was also required to give his U.S. passport to the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office.

Because of Soares’ medical problems, Walker said, bail was set at a level that Soares could meet while also trying to make sure it was substantial.

“If a judge were to post some type of bail he could not make, Waldo County taxpayers would then foot the medical bills, which are substantial,” Walker said.

In July, the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office said that Soares had a blood-alcohol level of 0.07 percent four hours after the crash. Deputy Chief Jeff Trafton said that because blood-alcohol levels decrease about 0.015  percentage points per hour, police believe Soares was operating over the legal limit of 0.08 percent at the time of the accident.

In addition to the manslaughter charge, Soares also faces felony charges of aggravated criminal operating under the influence, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and aggravated driving to endanger.

Soares also faces a misdemeanor charge of criminal speeding. Walker said Soares was going 98 mph in a 30-mph zone.

Soares is scheduled to appear Oct. 31 in Waldo County Superior Court.

“We’ll get the full reports next month or so and go from there,” said lawyer Walter McKee, of Augusta, who is representing Soares.

In July, Soares had left a family gathering in Thorndike with Tizon-Brito and his sister when he crashed the car he was driving into a utility pole on Unity Road. Tizon-Brito was killed in the crash.

Soares and his sister were taken by helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center. They released more than two weeks later.

Police said it took firefighters two hours to remove Soares from the vehicle, and Unity Road was closed for about four hours.

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239
jscardina@mainetoday.com

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