The corner of Andrew Hill Road and Bay Green Drive in Arnold typically serves as a bus stop for neighborhood children, but on this day, it is hallowed ground after a van jumped the curb killing 12-year old Matthew Murphy in front of his mother and younger brother.
"He was my son's best friend and the mother is my best friend,” said Rose Massa, “and he was the brightest child... smart... loving and would do anything for anybody. It's a tragedy. It's a tragedy."
A tragedy, which unfolded after 37-year-old Michael Blair Gauthier apparently passed out behind the wheel of the van before it struck Matthew and ran up on an embankment before crashing into a wooded area across the street.
According to charging documents, a police officer responding to the crash found Gauthier unconscious and had to administer two doses of Narcan before he could get a pulse.
The driver was still holding a glass pipe in his hand.
"You heard there's an allegation that some type of CDS or drug paraphernalia was pulled from his hand while driving. So that's the allegation,” said Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Wes Adams, “He clearly presents a danger to our community."
District Court Judge Laura Robinson denied bail for Gauthier, and back on the corner where the accident happened, neighbors spoke of the opioid abuse, which threatened to take the driver's life, but ended up taking Matthew Murphy's instead.
"We can't bring back that little boy and we'll never understand his mother's pain, but there's nothing worse than losing a child and there's nothing worse than this crisis,” said Patty Riggin, “It's worse than the school shootings. It's the worst thing our country has ever seen."
"Crumbling and so is the father... so is the family,” said Massa, “It's horrible. The brother... he has a baby brother that had to see this. The mother had to see this."
Matthew Murphy was a seventh-grader at Magothy River Middle School and his younger brother attends Broadneck Elementary.
Both had additional crisis counselors on hand today to help students deal with the 12-year-old's death.