Driver Plows Through Crowd Near Northeastern U.

By Monday morning, the word had spread nationwide — the New England Patriots had won their second Super Bowl title in three years. But an event overnight had created a buzz — a 21-year-old male was killed near Northeastern University after an alleged drunk driver sped through a crowd of spectators.

Symphony Road, although desolate in the early morning hours Monday, had been the stage for destruction only a few hours earlier, as broken glass from car windows and side view mirrors scattered the street.

One lone sneaker left on the sidewalk told a different story. James Grabowski, 21, of West Newbury, Mass., was killed after he was struck by a Toyota Land Cruiser driven by Stanley Filoma, 24, of Boston.

Boston Police spokeswoman Mariellen Burns said Filoma was observed driving his SUV backwards on Symphony Road with no lights on at midnight Sunday. Filoma then drove forward, accelerating up to 60 mph, witnesses said. After crashing into four victims, Filoma continued speeding through the crowd onto St. Stephen Street in the wrong direction.

“You could see one guy in the air, the other guy was on the hood still. He went flying away, it was just a hit and run. Three hit and runs,” said James Yasuhara, who was visiting his sister, a junior at Northeastern.

The suspect was stopped after he collided with a taxi on Westland Avenue where he was arrested by Boston Police officers.

A breathalyzer test was administered to Filoma three hours after the fatal crash and his BAC registered .09, said David Procopio, spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office. The legal limit is .08 in Massachusetts.

Filoma was arraigned Monday morning in Roxbury District Court on charges of motor vehicle homicide, operating under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury, driving to endanger, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and several motor vehicle charges. He will face additional charges in the future, Procopio said. Filoma pled guilty and is currently being held on $10,000 cash bail.

Grabowski was visiting his brother David, a freshman at Northeastern, Sunday night. University officials said one of their main concerns Monday morning was locating him. By Monday afternoon, officials realized David was home with his family in West Newbury. Grabowski’s father, Daniel, a State Police Captain, also attended Northeastern. He was the captain of the football team in 1972.

A second victim, Jason Stackiewicz, a middler criminal justice major, was thrown after Filoma’s SUV struck him. He is currently listed in serious condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital. Another NU student and a police officer who were struck were treated and released Monday.

Stackiewicz’s parents arrived from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Monday and are currently staying in an apartment on campus. Jack Green, dean of the College of Criminal Justice, said Stackiewicz’s father reached out to him and he has been in constant contact with the family since the crash.

“Jason’s father said to me, ‘You worry your whole life about getting a phone call at night about your children,'” Green said. “His parents are coping with the worst nightmare imaginable for parents.”

Green has been to the hospital and said Stackiewicz sustained severe head trauma. Just looking at him, Green said, the severity of his injuries was apparent, and the severity of his parents’ pain is equally apparent.

“You can see the pain and suffering in his parents’ eyes,” Green said.According to a statement released by the university, President Richard Freeland called Sunday’s events, “shocking” and “senseless.”

“While the vast majority of students celebrated appropriately, the irresponsible behavior of too many led to a tragic loss of life, serious personal injury, significant property damage and a disturbing violation of the sense of security felt by community residents,” the statement read.

Ed Klotzbier, vice president for student affairs, said Grabowski’s death was a result of an alleged drunk driver and not a direct result of the riots which engulfed Hemenway Street and began to trickle down Symphony Road as the night progressed.

“You have a drunk driver plow into a crowd, one person dies, three others were injured, one of which is in serious condition,” Klotzbier said. “Bottom line, this is a drunk driving case. It could happen tomorrow.”- Stephanie Vosk contributed to this report.