Mass. trooper arraigned in deadly traffic crash
PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts state trooper charged with being drunk in a head-on car crash that killed a mother and daughter returning home from a Red Sox game has been released on his own recognizance after pleading not guilty Thursday to several charges.
John Basler, 25, of Kingston, entered the pleas in Plymouth District Court to charges of drunken driving, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, possession of a firearm while intoxicated and improper storage of a firearm.
The judge ordered him not to have any guns, refrain from drinking alcohol and submit to random alcohol testing. Prosecutors asked that he not be allowed to drive as a condition of release, but the judge denied that request. His next court date is Nov. 26.
Basler was injured in the crash and used a cane in court Thursday. He did not comment outside court. His lawyer, Richard Rafferty Jr., said Basler’s thoughts were with the crash victims’ family.
Basler was off duty and coming from a party where friends say he had one or two beers when a car driven by Susan Macchi apparently drifted into the oncoming lane on a wet road, Plymouth police reports say.
Macchi, 64, and Juliet Macchi, 23, both of Carver, died as a result of the Sept. 22 early morning crash, police say. The daughter graduated from Harvard University last year.
Basler had a blood-alcohol level of .19, more than twice the legal limit for driving, although he did not appear intoxicated to officers, police say. He told officers at the scene of the crash that he had no recollection of it. He also had a gun in the car, according to police, which was found in bushes nearby.
Basler, who has been with the state police for about a year and a half, has been placed on unpaid leave.