NY Man Arraigned in Connection to Christmas Night Double Motor Vehicle Fatality in Somerset

Bristol County District Attorney’s Office

Thomas M. Quinn III
District Attorney

Press Release
December 26, 2023

Adam Gauthier, the 41-year-old New York City resident arrested on charges related to a late Christmas night motor vehicle double-fatality on the Somerset side of the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge, was ordered held on $100,000 cash bail during his arraignment at Saint Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford this afternoon, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

The defendant, formerly of Somerset, was arrested shortly after the 11 pm crash and is currently being charged with two counts of Manslaughter while Operating Under the Influence, two counts of Motor Vehicle Homicide-OUI Liquor, and one count each of OUI-Liquor with Serious Bodily Injury, Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Driving the Wrong Way on a State Highway. 

After being arrested, he was transported to Saint Luke’s Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.  He is set to appear in Fall River District Court for an initial pre-trial hearing in the case on January 9.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Catherine Sauter. 

“This is a terrible tragedy, especially when it occurred on Christmas night.  My heart grieves for the victims and their family for their terrible loss,” District Attorney Quinn said. 

Massachusetts State Police of the Dartmouth Barracks received an emergency call at 11 pm last night regarding a collision on the bridge involving a wrong way operator.

The preliminary investigation has revealed that the defendant was driving a Range Rover eastbound in the westbound lane on Route 6 while crossing the bridge.  While on the bridge, the defendant’s vehicle struck an Infiniti SUV head on.

The Infiniti was being operated by Floriano Arruda, 73, of Seekonk.  Mr. Arruda’s wife, Donna Arruda, 68, also of Seekonk was in the front passenger seat and his 15-year-old grandson, Jacoby Arruda, also of Seekonk, was in the rear of the vehicle.

All three of the Arrudas were rushed to area hospitals.  Jacoby Arruda was pronounced deceased last night at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, and Floriano Arruda was pronounced deceased this morning at Rhode Island Hospital.  Donna Arruda is currently in critical condition at Rhode Island Hospital.

Beyond the two initial vehicles involved in the crash was a third vehicle that also sustained front end damage during the incident.   The driver and front seat passenger of the third vehicle sustained minor injuries and were treated at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River.  

The investigation into the crash remains ongoing at this time and is now the subject of a criminal prosecution. No further information can be disseminated.  The probe will be conducted by Homicide Unit prosecutors, the State Police Detective Unit assigned to DA Quinn’s office, State Police-Dartmouth Barracks and State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section.


Gregg Miliote

Director of Communications