WOBURN (CBS) — Jurors in a Middlesex Superior courtroom heard testimony from first responders who were at the scene of the 2016 deadly crash at Sweet Tomatoes pizza shop Monday. The trial is underway to determine whether Brad Casler should be held criminally responsible for killing 32-year-old Gregory Morin and 57-year-old Eleanor Miele in the Newton crash.
Casler‘s attorneys argue he should not be held responsible because symptoms from his multiple sclerosis led to the crash.
Meriam Saim, an EMT for Cataldo Ambulance, told the courtroom that when she asked Casler about any medical conditions at the scene, he responded that he had multiple sclerosis but did not think it played a role in the crash.
Saim continued, “He said he was approaching the intersection, tried stopping, was unable to, swerved around some cars that were in front of him, crashed into the pizza place, exited and crossed the street.”
Mass. State Police Sgt. Michael George served as a crash analyst. He testified that his investigation showed no problems with the car’s accelerator, brakes, or steering system.
Another witness told jurors that Casler was on the phone at the time of the crash. Mass. State Police Trooper David Crouse said cell phone records show Casler was on a call for nine minutes before it abruptly ended at 6:12 p.m., the time of the crash.
According to witness Mass. State Police Lt. Timothy Dowd, Casler’s SUV was speeding and showed no sign of braking. Neither weather nor road condition contributed.
Also on Monday, one juror was excused for personal reasons. The trial will continue with 13 jurors.
The victims’ families were hoping Casler would accept a plea deal and avoid the emotional pain of going through a trial. But Casler decided not to plead guilty, choosing to move ahead with a trial. He was charged with two counts of motor vehicle homicide and one count of driving a motor vehicle to endanger. The crash also injured seven people.