Jon P. Heaney stood before a jury on Monday charged with vehicular homicide for crashing into five bikers last year in Maine.
A group of motorcycles was being driven south of East Bangor, Maine on July 1, 2011 when Heaney came around a curve in his Dodge Ram, careening into the group and killing two. Witness Tammy Morris described the events to the jury, expressing the distress she felt watching one of the struck bikers catch on fire.
“I saw a man blow up in front of me,” she stated, adding that the shock of the accident affected her ability to drive for the following six months.
Heaney’s negligence reportedly attributed to the multiple beers and vodka tonics he had consumed prior to driving the vehicle, took the lives of Keith Michaelson and Michael Zadoyko. Authorities at the site of the crash detected alcohol on Heaney’s breath and subjected him to three sobriety tests, only one of which he failed.
The defense argued that Heaney’s unstable blood sugar as a result of a gastric bypass surgery was the underlying cause for his erratic driving, and that Heaney was not drunk. According to Heaney’s defense attorney, Dennis Charles, he intoxicated driver claimed multiple injuries at the scene of the crash, most of which were not related to the accident itself but to the man’s unstable blood sugar.
A blood alcohol content test of Heaney’s blood was not given, supporting the defense’s claim. A witness is set to testify that an uninjured biker physically assaulted Heaney at the scene of the accident. No other witnesses have mentioned the altercation.
The bikers involved were members of a group of recovering addicts, both from drug and alcohol. The men had a tight bond and enjoyed riding together as a social and supportive function. The day of the accident, the group was on its way to honor a fellow member at a wake when Heaney’s truck crashed into them. George Curtis, uninjured by Heaney’s negligent driving, said that the driver parked and apologized to the remaining bikers. His apology was not welcome and met with a hostile reaction, according to Curtis.
The trial will likely continue through Thursday of this week, ending with a jury verdict.
Accidents such as this one are both tragic and increasingly common. Drivers in motorcycle crashes are 30 times more likely to be killed than those in a vehicle, making this form of travel incredibly dangerous for both drivers and passengers.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you need someone familiar with auto accident cases to represent your rights and interests in a court of law. Personal injury attorney Jeffrey Killino knows how to fight for you in court, especially when involved in a motorcycle crash. If you were injured, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Jeffrey Killino today to determine what the next step is for you to hold the responsible drivers accountable for their actions. Don’t let justice go undone. Contact Jeffrey Killino today.