Maine Man Pleads Guilty in Fatal Route 9 Crash
Jeremy Gardner of Maine plead guilty to vehicular homicide charges in connection with the death of Gregory Vilidnitsky, of Framingham; Vilidnitsky was working a construction project on Route 9 when he was killed in September 2010.
Jeremy Gardner, 30, of Bridgton, Maine, pled guilty yesterday, March 26 in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn to charges of motor vehicle homicide, leaving the scene of an accident after causing a death, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle crash resulting in property damage, and operating under the influence, second offense.
Today, Middlesex Superior Court Judge Sandra Hamlin sentenced the defendant to eight years and one day in state prison on the felony motor vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident after causing a death charges.
On the count of operating under the influence, second offense, he was sentenced to two and one half years in the house of correction, with one year to serve and the balance suspended for seven years, from and after the state prison sentence.
Additionally, he was sentenced to seven years probation from and after the prison sentence on the count of leaving the scene of a motor vehicle crash resulting in property damage with conditions that he refrains from the use of drugs and alcohol, ordered to undergo a substance abuse evaluation and treatment if deemed necessary, subject to random screenings, ordered to maintain or actively seek employment, ordered not to drive and mandatory lose of license for 15 years, ordered to complete 100 hours of community service, ordered to pay $5,000 restitution to D&R paving, and ordered not to have any contact with the victims or witnesses in the case.
A co-defendant in the case, Walter Smith, 50, of Barre, Vermont, was charged with operating under the influence, fourth offense. His next court date is April 11 for a final pre-trial conference.
“This defendant has now admitted to and been sentenced for driving while under the influence of alcohol and fatally striking a construction worker working along Route 9, before attempting to leave the scene,” District Attorney Gerry Leone in a press release. “Anytime you get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while impaired, you heighten the risk of endangering yourself and others. This defendant's negligence turned that risk into tragic results. We commend the court for their just sentence today, taking into account the reckless nature of what he did in killing the victim and trying to evade detection. Our thoughts remain with the victim’s family and friends.”
According to authorities, on September 14, 2010, at approximately 10:45 pm, Massachusetts State Highway employees were working on a construction project on Route 9 at Crossing Boulevard in Framingham, when a truck drove into the construction site, striking a worker.
The victim, Gregory Vilidnitsky, 57, of Framingham, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities determined that Gardner was operating the truck when it struck the victim. After striking the victim, Gardner then got out of the vehicle and began to leave the area before he was apprehended while Smith allegedly moved from the passenger’s side of the truck to the driver’s seat and attempted to leave the scene of the crash.
The two defendants were arrested at the scene and were arraigned on September 15, 2010 in Framingham District Court. At the arraignment, Framingham District Court Judge Paul Healy, Jr. held Gardner on $100,000 cash bail with the conditions that he refrains from the use of alcohol, does not drive, and is subject to random drug and alcohol screenings. Smith was ordered held on $50,000 cash bail with the conditions that he refrains from the use of alcohol, does not drive, and is subject to random drug and alcohol screenings. The defendants were indicted by a Middlesex Grand Jury on December 21, 2010. They were arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn on January 21, 2011 where Middlesex Superior Court Assistant Clerk Magistrate Matthew Day ordered Smith held on $10,000 cash bail. Middlesex Superior Court Judge Howard Whitehead ordered Gardner held on $100,000 cash bail and later lowered his bail to $25,000 with the conditions that he is placed on house arrested with electronic monitoring bracelet/sobrietor, ordered to live with his mother in Massachusetts, refrain from the use of alcohol, and be subject to random alcohol screenings.
The prosecutor assigned to this case is Jennifer Snook.