Prosecutors: Driver in fatal crash near airport was drunk

BOSTON (AP) " Authorities say the driver of a car that struck a hotel shuttle van near Boston's airport and killed two visitors from Texas was drunk.

Steven Birenbaum, of Swampscott, was released on $5,000 bail after pleading not guilty at his arraignment Monday to several charges, including two counts of manslaughter while driving drunk.

Prosecutors say the 27-year-old Birenbaum was speeding and under the influence of marijuana and prescription medications when he struck the rear of the van, which was heading for a hotel after picking up travelers from Logan International Airport at about 1 a.m. on Aug. 31.

Two van passengers, 59-year-old Joseph Rodriguez and 47-year-old Sandra Arreola, both of El Paso, Texas, were ejected and died.

Birenbaum's attorney called the crash an "unfortunate, tragic accident" and says his client is remorseful.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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