Reporting Paul Burton
PLYMOUTH (CBS) – A Massachusetts State Police trooper will be charged with OUI and driving to endanger following a crash that killed a mom and daughter last weekend in Plymouth.
Plymouth police say Trooper John J. Basler, 25, of Kingston was off-duty and was driving drunk when a car driven by Susan Macchi, 64, of Carver collided head-on with his vehicle.
Investigators have said it appeared Macchi’s car crossed the center line before the crash. However, they are looking into Basler’s role in the collision.
Macchi and her daughter, Juliet Macchi, 23, were both killed. Basler suffered non-life threatening injuries in the crash.
A source told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 that Basler’s blood alcohol level was .26, which is more than three times the legal limit for driving.
In addition to the OUI and driving to endanger charges, he also faces a charge of carrying a firearm while under the influence of liquor, according to the Plymouth Police Department, which is investigating the crash with the assistance of the Massachusetts State Police Accident Reconstruction Unit.
“This is very upsetting. Its horrific. No one wins in this situation,” Plymouth Chief Michael Botieri said.
Police say the Macchis and Basler collided with each other on Federal Furnance Road in Plymouth. Basler was off-duty at the time and, according to reports, he had been drinking before the crash.
“At this point, we have enough evidence to move forward on charges of OUI and negligent operation of a motor vehicle,” Botieri said.
One of Basler’s neighbors in Kingston was shocked when he heard the allegations Saturday. “My wife and I are very sad to hear about the crash. I know Basler, he’s a nice guy. I am so sorry to hear about him also,” Jim Reagan said.
Botieri said he has spoken with the Macchi family to let them know Basler may be facing more charges. “This family has lost two members and this trooper has some serious issues here,” the police chief said.
A family member of Basler’s told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 that he had hired a lawyer and would not be commenting.
The state police said the trooper has been placed on leave. Due to Basler’s injuries, he will be summonsed to Plymouth District Court at a later date, the Plymouth Police said in a prepared statement Saturday. Further charges may be filed against the trooper, the police said.
Basler was sworn in to the Massachusetts State Police in March 2012.