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Police charge man with manslaughter after van kills boy on Arnold sidewalk

Phil Davis

Police say the driver of a van facing manslaughter charges after he struck and killed a 12 year old on an Arnold sidewalk was revived by paramedics after suffering a suspected drug overdose.

Anne Arundel County police said Michael Blair Gauthier, 37, of Arnold, struck Matthew Murphy of Arnold Sunday afternoon when his vehicle drove onto the sidewalk before crashing into a tree.

Officers were called to the accident scene on Bay Green Drive at 3:21 p.m.

Police said Gauthier was driving a 2004 Chevrolet Express 1500 Van west on Bay Green Drive when he drove off the road at the intersection with Andrew Hill Road and hit Murphy, who was walking on the sidewalk with his mother and brother. Gauthier continued driving and struck a tree off the roadway, police said.

Witnesses told police they saw Gauthier driving at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash. One witness said it appeared Gauthier lost control of his van and appeared to be trying to regain it when he hit the child. Murphy’s mother and brother, who have not been identified, were unharmed.

The boy was flown to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, where police said he died of his injuries.

Gauthier was found unconscious and without a pulse inside the vehicle, police said in charging documents.

Police said officers found a small glass tube used to take drugs with burn residue inside. Officers administered two doses of naloxone, which combats the symptoms of opioid overdoses, and administered CPR, charging documents state.

Gauthier revived and was taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis for treatment. He was released to police to be charged in Murphy’s death.

Bob Mosier, a spokesman for Anne Arundel County Public Schools, said Murphy was a seventh-grade student at Magothy River Middle School in Arnold.

The school offered grief counselors and additional school psychologists Monday for students and staff members, Mosier said.

Police charged Gauthier with manslaughter as well as several drug-related charges, including vehicular homicide while under the influence of drugs. He is also charged with possession of cocaine and heroin.

He was ordered held without bond Monday, online court records show. No attorney is listed as representing Gauthier in online court records.

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