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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Probable cause found in Merrimack crash that killed Nashua woman

MERRIMACK – A district court judge found probable cause for prosecutors to continue pursuing a manslaughter charge against a dump truck driver charged with killing a Nashua woman last month.

Merrimack District Court Judge Paul Moore found probable cause against Kyle Witty, 43, of Cornish, at a hearing held Monday morning. Witty is free on $50,000 personal recognizance bail and barred from driving commercial vehicles, according to court documents. ...

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MERRIMACK – A district court judge found probable cause for prosecutors to continue pursuing a manslaughter charge against a dump truck driver charged with killing a Nashua woman last month.

Merrimack District Court Judge Paul Moore found probable cause against Kyle Witty, 43, of Cornish, at a hearing held Monday morning. Witty is free on $50,000 personal recognizance bail and barred from driving commercial vehicles, according to court documents.

Witty was charged with manslaughter on July 29, more than a week after the crash at the intersection of Route 101A and Continental Boulevard in Merrimack that killed 60-year-old Nashua resident Elizabeth McQuinn, according to court records.

County attorneys say Witty ran a red light in a 1989 Freightliner dump truck carrying a load of stone and collided with the driver’s side of McQuinn’s Kia Sorento SUV. McQuinn was trying to turn left from a McDonald’s parking lot onto Route 101A, according to court documents.

McQuinn was pronounced dead at the scene after firefighters extricated her from the car.

The finding of probable cause means prosecutors can now present their case to a grand jury and pursue the charge at superior court.

Witty is self-employed and previously worked for the town of Cornish for about three years, according to a document filed at the court.

McQuinn, who worked at Cable Assemblies in Amherst for the past decade, had been devoting time to caring for her husband, Brian McQuinn, during a recent illness as well as helping to care for her elderly mother.

Witty is facing a more serious charge than many drivers involved in fatal crashes. Instead of negligent homicide, county prosecutors accuse Witty of manslaughter, which carries a maximum of 30 years in prison.

County Attorney Patricia LaFrance said previously that the charge indicates that prosecutors believe Witty recklessly caused McQuinn’s death by ignoring the risk of driving through the red light. A charge of negligent homicide would indicate that lawyers are accusing a driver of failing to become aware of a risk, she said.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).