SALEM, Mass. — A Haverhill woman charged after a fatal 2018 highway crash was ordered Thursday to wear an alcohol monitoring device while her criminal case is pending. 

Emily McGovern, 20, was arraigned Thursday in Salem Superior Court following her recent indictment by the Essex County grand jury on charges of motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of of intoxicating liquor and being reckless or negligent, as well as manslaughter by motor vehicle, operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor.  

Investigators said McGovern was driving a 2004 Lincoln LS sedan on the afternoon of March 31, 2018, when the car flipped onto its hood on the shoulder of Interstate 495 north in Haverhill. Her friend,18-year-old Alexis Spartz ,was killed in the crash. 

The indictments mean McGovern's case will now be handled at the superior court level where the penalties she faces if convicted will be more severe. 

McGovern was released Thursday on personal recognizance but ordered not to use alcohol or drugs and to submit to random screenings. She also must wear a scram device, which detects alcohol in the body. 

Speed and alcohol were factors in the crash, according to investigators. 

McGovern was traveling at 107 mph before the crash according to the car's data recorder, a police report states. 

Blood tests showed McGovern had a blood alcohol level of .196, according to the police report. The legal blood alcohol limit for people under 21 is .02. For people over 21, the limit is .08.

The crash scene was chaotic, resulting in confusion over who was driving the car, state police said. 

Initial reports said that Spartz was behind the wheel, but within a couple days, state police issued a retraction that said another young person was driving. They did not name McGovern at that time.

Spartz was a 2017 Methuen High graduate. 

McGovern's next court date is scheduled for Jan. 8.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill. 


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