DNA, Surveillance Lead to Suspect in August Fatal Crash

When police found a Massachusetts man dead in a flipped over car in the Moosup section of Plainfield in August, they thought he had been the only person the car.

Eight months later, police have arrested another man suspected of driving that car and leaving his friend behind at the scene.

Chad Whitehead, 27, of Danielson, was arrested on Friday in connection with the crash on Aug. 2 that killed Michael J. Shong, 29, of Dudley, Massachusetts.

Police said they responded to the crash just after 2 a.m. and found a 2003 Honda Civic on its roof in the middle of the road and Shong was pronounced dead at the scene.

At the time of the crash, investigators thought Shong was the only person in the car at the time of the crash, but later determined that Whitehead was driving. They said he lost control around a curve on Snake Meadow Road and went off the road.

DNA evidence inside the vehicle and video surveillance from locations Whitehead and Shong visited immediately before the crash led police to determine Whitehead was driving and fled the scene before police arrived, leaving his friend in the car.

Whitehead was charged with second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle and felony evading responsibility involving a death.

He was held at the Plainfield Police Department on a $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear at the Danielson Superior Court on Monday.

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