DA: Former Sen. Joyce was involved in car crash a day before body was found

Former Massachusetts State Senator Brian Joyce was found dead inside his Westport home Thursday.

A spokesperson for the Bristol County DA's office told Boston 25 News Joyce's wife found the body at the couple's home. Officials say they do not suspect foul play and added the investigation is active and ongoing. An autopsy will be conducted by the state Medical Examiner.

Joyce was arrested last December and was facing federal charges. He was accused of using his political office for personal gain, taking up to $1 million in bribes and kickbacks from companies and using his Canton law office to launder the money. The FBI raided that office in 2016.

Joyce pleaded not guilty in federal court and was released on bail.

After a two year investigation, the U.S. Attorney's indictment alleged Joyce "used his Senate office as a criminal enterprise."

Howard M. Cooper, Joyce's attorney, issued the following statement to Boston 25 News following news of Joyce's death:

"I have no comment. The family asks that their privacy be respected at this difficult time."

U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling released the following statement:

"We extend our condolences to Mr. Joyce's family and friends as they grieve his passing; we will not have any further comment during this difficult time."

The Massachusetts Democratic Party statement released this statement:

"During this difficult time, our thoughts are with Senator Joyce's family and friends."

Sarah Finlaw, the deputy communications director for Governor Charlie Baker said in a statement on behalf of the governor and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito:

"Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito extend their deepest condolences to the Joyce family during this difficult time."

Boston 25 News has learned Joyce was involved in a single-car accident on Sodom Road in Westport early Wednesday morning. Police responded to the scene at around 4:30 a.m., but it is unclear exactly what time the crash happened and if the driver stayed on scene.

The crash took out a utility pole, power to some of the area and part of a fence. Several witnesses told Boston 25 News the vehicle hit the utility pole after taking a turn and then swerved back across the road and hit the fence.

The DA's office has confirmed the accident will be part of their overall investigation but it's unclear if it is connected to his death

A neighbor of the Joyce's, Bill Morrison, said the number emergency vehicles he saw Thursday suggested something significant had occurred. "The ambulance went away and suddenly we have two more medical vehicles coming and a policeman taking pictures and all that kind of stuff, so we knew probably somebody died," he said.

Joyce was elected in 1998 and was a state senator for nearly two decades. He had recently moved to Westport after deciding not to seek re-election.