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Prosecutors: Driver in fatal crash near the airport was drunk

BOSTON – Authorities say the driver of a car that struck a hotel near Boston airport and killed two visitors from Texas, was drunk.

Steven Birenbaum, of Swampscott, was released on $5,000 bail after pleading not guilty at his arraignment Monday to multiple charges, including two counts of manslaughter and drunk driving.

Prosecutors say the 27-year-old Birenbaum was speeding and under the influence of marijuana and prescription drugs when he hit the back of the bus, which was on the way to a hotel after picking up passengers from Logan International Airport at about 1 a.m. on Aug. 31.

Two of the passengers, the 59-year-old Joseph Rodriguez, and the 47-year-old Sandra Arreola, both of El Paso, Texas, were ejected and died.

Birenbaum, the lawyer called the crash an “unfortunate, tragic accident” and says his client is remorseful.

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