Edgartown crash results in serious injuries, charges

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Andrew Rauker pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday. -Rich Saltzberg

A single motor vehicle crash near Harbor View Hotel that resulted in an emergency MedFlight to Mass General Hospital Saturday afternoon has left the driver of the car facing a handful of offenses, including causing serious bodily injury while operating under the influence. 

Andrew Rauker, 37, of Littleton, appeared in Edgartown District Court Monday, where he was arraigned on two counts of operating under the influence with serious injury and negligence, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and speeding. He pleaded not guilty. He was released on personal recognizance, and ordered to remain alcohol-free. A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Sept. 19.

On Saturday, Edgartown officers responding to the reported crash discovered a Mini Cooper that had been driven into the stone wall by North Water Street and Starbuck Neck. 

According to the police report, no skid marks were present at the scene, prompting responding officers to assume “the operator made no attempt of stopping.” 

According to the police report, the driver of the Mini Cooper, later identified as Rauker, was “stumbling around the vehicle.” as he was seemingly intoxicated, but with no apparent external injury, “yelling and screaming for [EPD] to help,” and told officers that two friends were still in the crashed car. 

The police report states that the car’s airbags had been deployed, and the engine was still running, with the speedometer “locked on at 40 mph.”

In the front passenger seat, officers located an unconscious, unresponsive male with serious injuries “pinned up against the dashboard,” situated in such a way as to prevent immediate access to his vitals. 

With assistance from Edgartown EMS, officers were able to “pry the front seat back” to remove the front-seat passenger, and he was subsequently airlifted to Boston from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. 

A second male passenger, although “somewhat coherent,” additionally sustained injuries to his face, and was transported via ambulance to the hospital, the report states.

Rauker allegedly told officers that he had “a few drinks” at the Wharf restaurant on Main Street. When asked what happened upon departing the Wharf, Rauker told officers he “[did not] recall what happened,” only that he was driving and was heading “back to the rental,” when he “just hit a stone wall.” Rauker said he exited the vehicle to check on his two friends, who were “both unconscious,” triggering him to ask for help from somebody at Harbor View before returning to the car and awaiting police. The police report states that “a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage” was detected when conversing with Rauker, who was then put under arrest. 

Reporting officers noted that “due to his current medical condition,” they were unable to conduct a standardized field sobriety test. Rauker additionally declined to sign a statutory rights consent form, and refused a blood test.

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