Thursday February 2, 2012

GREAT BARRINGTON -- The teen driver in a car crash that killed a fellow Lenox high school student last month has pleaded not guilty to a charge of vehicular homicide.

Philip K. Baruch Jr. of Lenox was arraigned this morning in Southern Berkshire District Court on one count of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence of alcohol and doing so negligently, causing the death of passenger Remy Kirshner.

The 18-year-old Baruch, who appeared in court with his parents, was also cited for speeding.

Through his defense attorney Leonard M. Cohen of Pittsfield, Baruch pleaded not guilty to both counts before Judge Paul Vrabel.

The charges stem from the early morning crash on Dec. 30 in Lee, in which the BMW Baruch was driving crashed into a tree on Greylock Street.

Vrabel allowed Baruch, who had a cast on his left wrist and walked with the assistance of a cane, to remain free on his own personal recognizance pending another court appearance on March 15.

Prosecutor Gregory Barry from the Berkshire District Attorney's office said the case will likely be presented to a Berkshire grand jury in order to seek a Superior Court indictment against the defendant.

The judge ordered Baruch to refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages, using illegal drugs and driving for the next 30 days.

According to court records, Baruch's blood alcohol content was above the legal limit of .08 percent.


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The testing was done at Berkshire Medical Center 90 minutes after the crash.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6233.