Greenfield officer to be arraigned in connection with fatal October 2017 crash

Date: 
07.24.2018

A criminal complaint charging motor vehicle homicide has issued against Greenfield Police Sergeant James B. Rode in connection with an Oct. 1, 2017 crash that killed one man and seriously injured another.

The crash occurred at approximately 8:10 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2017, while Rode was on duty and traveling southbound on High Street in Greenfield.

He had just left the Greenfield Police Department in response to a call of an erratic operator near the Greenfield/Deerfield line.

Rode’s cruiser struck the right rear passenger side of a vehicle being driven by James Arcellana, 29, of Hinsdale, New Hampshire, who was traveling westbound on Sanderson Street attempting to cross High Street. The collision resulted in fatal injuries to Arcellana, and serious but non-life-threatening injuries to Arcellana’s passenger and to Rode.

The Massachusetts State Police Detectives Unit attached to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office investigated the crash, along with the Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section (“CARS”).

The investigation revealed that Rode was traveling approximately 83 miles-per-hour in a posted 30 mile-per-hour zone just prior to the crash. Neither drugs nor alcohol contributed to the crash.

Rode is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at 9 a.m. in the Greenfield District Court.

The criminal complaint charges him with negligent motor vehicle homicide, in violation of General Laws chapter 90, section 24G(b). The charge is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 2 ½ years in the House of Correction, and carries a 15-year loss of license upon conviction.