WORCESTER, Mass. — The driver involved in the crash that killed a Massachusetts state trooper has been charged with motor vehicle homicide.
David Njuguna pleaded not guilty to charges in a Worcester courtroom Wednesday afternoon. A secret grand jury indicted him on charges of manslaughter, manslaughter by motor vehicle, motor vehicle homicide by negligence, motor vehicle homicide by operating under the influence of drugs, operating an uninsured vehicle and operating to endanger.
Witnesses say he was driving at an excessive rate of speed when he crossed three lanes of traffic and crashed into the back of Trooper Thomas Clardy's SUV. Njuguna's impact speed is estimated at 81 mph.
"There is no evidence that this was an intentional act," said the Worcester County District Attorney.
An hour before the crash, police say Njuguna was at a medical marijuana facility and purchased four marijuana cigarettes. One of the marijuana cigarettes was missing during a search of Njuguna's vehicle. He had legally obtained a medical marijuana card.
Police say when searching the vehicle, they found a partially smoked marijuana cigarette in his car. Tests also showed THC in his blood.
Njuguna's attorney argued that his client shouldn't be held without bail, due to his community ties. The judge set his bail at $500,000.
Njuguna is still suffering from the injuries he suffered in the crash, said his lawyer.
Cox Media Group