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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Truck driver in fatal Merrimack crash charged with manslaughter

MERRIMACK – The driver of the dump truck involved in the July 16 collision that claimed the life of Nashua resident Elizabeth McQuinn has been charged with manslaughter, police said.

Kyle Witty, 43, of 4 Squag City Road, Cornish, turned himself in to Merrimack police around 10 a.m. Friday after police issued a warrant for his arrest, police said. ...

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MERRIMACK – The driver of the dump truck involved in the July 16 collision that claimed the life of Nashua resident Elizabeth McQuinn has been charged with manslaughter, police said.

Kyle Witty, 43, of 4 Squag City Road, Cornish, turned himself in to Merrimack police around 10 a.m. Friday after police issued a warrant for his arrest, police said.

Police said their investigation shows that Witty, who was driving a dump truck loaded with stone east on Route 101A around 6 a.m. July 16, caused the collision by failing to stop at a red light.

His truck slammed into the driver’s side of McQuinn’s SUV as McQuinn was exiting a McDonald’s restaurant and in the process of taking a left to head west on Route 101A.

Merrimack firefighters extricated McQuinn from her vehicle, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Police closed a section of 101A for several hours to conduct their investigation.

Witty was uninjured.

Witty was freed on personal recognizance bail after his arrest, according to Hillsborough County Attorney Patricia LaFrance. He is scheduled to be arraigned at 8 a.m. Tuesday at Merrimack district court.

As a condition of bail, Witty surrendered his commercial driver’s license, but he was allowed to retain his regular operator’s license, LaFrance said.

While drivers who are arrested in connection with serious or fatal motor vehicle accidents typically are charged with negligent homicide, LaFrance said Witty was charged with manslaughter because the evidence shows he “recklessly caused” McQuinn’s death.

What separates the charges of manslaughter and negligent homicide is intent, LaFrance said.

“Recklessness means that you are aware of a risk but ignore it,” LaFrance said. Negligence means “you fail to become aware of a risk,” she said.

Negligent homicide is a Class B felony but can be upgraded to a Class A felony in cases involving a vehicle and if the operator is under the influence. A conviction typically carries a sentence of 71⁄2-15 years in prison and the loss of a driver’s license for seven years.

A manslaughter conviction can bring a term of up to 30 years in prison and, when death results, an indefinite loss of license.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-6443 or dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Shalhoup on Twitter (@Telegraph_DeanS).