CHARLTON (CBS) — A 30-year-old Webster man has been charged following a crash on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Charlton on Wednesday afternoon that claimed the life of a State Trooper.
David Njuguna was served with a summons charging him with negligent operation of a motor vehicle and failure to stay within marked lanes. His right to operate a motor vehicle has been revoked due to an immediate threat notification filed by State Police to the RMV, investigators say.
Njuguna told his family he blacked out when he crashed into Massachusetts State Trooper Thomas Clardy‘s cruiser, killing him.
The 44-year-old trooper was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had joined State Police in April 2005.
“He doesn’t remember anything,” said Njuguna’s sister-in-law, who declined to be identified, adding that she visited him at UMass Memorial Medical Center. She told WBZ he was confused, as he’s recovering from a concussion.
“We’re still in shock, and we’re so sorry about the trooper’s family,” she said.
Investigators are focused on what caused Njuguna to suddenly swerve from the left, cross three lanes on the Mass Pike and crash into Clardy’s SUV on the right shoulder, where he’d pulled over another driver.
Robert Doucette, Njuguna’s neighbor, says Njuguna could rarely be seen at home.
“He works a lot of hours. I think he fell asleep,” he told WBZ-TV on Thursday. “I barely see his car here and if it is, it’s late at night and then it’s gone in the morning.”
On Facebook one day earlier, Njuguna posted, ” Couldn’t get enough sleep. Even my medication is not working.”
His record shows he’s had an accident before, and a suspended license for refusing to take a breathalyzer two-and-a-half years ago. But neighbors say they never would’ve expected this.
“I heard that he got killed and I’m very saddened by that,” said Njuguna’s neighbor, Erick Toussaint. “It’s awful.”
The crash remains under investigation by police.
As of Thursday night, Njuguna was in stable condition at the medical center. He is expected to be arraigned at some point soon in Dudley District Court.