FRAMINGHAM (CBS) – The man responsible for a 2010 crash that killed a Massachusetts highway worker was sentenced to eight years in prison and seven years on probation on Tuesday.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports.
The judge also suspended Jeremy Gardner’s driver’s license and ordered him to complete 1,000 hours of community service.
Gardner pleaded guilty to drunk driving back in 2010, when his pickup truck hit Gregory Vilidnitsky, killing the 58-year-old engineer who was working on a highway project on Route 9.
Gardner tried to flee the scene after he had struck Vilidnitsky, but highway workers chased him down. He was later convicted of vehicular homicide, drunk driving and leaving the scene of a crash.
Vilidnitsky’s co-workers were in court as Gardner’s sentence was handed down.
“I was his direct supervisor and he was the best employee I ever had working with me, to be honest with you. He was a hard worker,” said Scott Kallin, Vilidnitsky’s supervisor.
Bob Croatti was there the night Vilidnitsky was killed.
“We just want to come and support and be just here for the sentencing to make sure he wasn’t forgotten. It was important for us to be here,” said Croatti.
Vilidnitsky was a Russian immigrant, a husband and the father of two children. He had only been working for MassDOT for two years.
“He was a great, great employee for MassDOT, very dedicated, would be willing to do anything at any time,” said George Berte, a former co-worker of Vilidnitsky. “This was a devastating loss for us.”
Gardner was also ordered stay away from the victim’s family.