A fender bender accident proved deadly for a North Shore cab driver.

Shortly before 8 p.m. Friday, a 2003 Ford Crown Victoria taxi cab struck a 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt from behind on Rt. 1 in Lynnfield. The two drivers pulled over to the breakdown lane to check the damage, and the Cobalt driver called State Police on her cell phone. Suddenly, the trooper taking the call heard a loud crash, and the line went dead, State Police said in a statement.

While the drivers were standing between their vehicles in the breakdown lane, a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica crossover suddenly struck the Cobalt and then hit the taxi driver.

William J. Halpin III, 25, of Melrose, was the third driver. He was arrested and charge with driving under the influence of narcotics, said State Police Spokesman David Procopio.

The cab driver, Victor Vargas, 42, of Lynn, was taken to North Shore Medical Center-Lynn Union Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A 6-year-old boy who was a passenger in the Cobalt suffered a serious injury to his arm when the Pacifica struck the Cobalt and was treated at a local hospital.

The Cobalt’s driver, Patricia Ediamen, 30, of North Andover, who was also outside her vehicle at the time of the fatal crash, was not injured. Two other passengers in the Cobalt, a Framingham woman — whom police believe called the barracks after the initial minor crash — and a three-year-old boy, were also not injured.

Halpin also faces charges of motor vehicle homicide while under the influence, drug possession, speeding, and a marked lanes violation. He was being held and will be arraigend Monday in Peabody District Court.

State Police said that Halpin has a prior OUI charge on his record, but they did not elaborate.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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