Driver of dump truck involved in Merrimack fatal arraigned for manslaughter
Kyle S. Witty, 43, of 4 Squag City Road, Cornish, was in court on Tuesday for an arraignment, where he faced relatives of Elizabeth “Liz” McQuinn, who died in the crash at the Route 101A intersection with Continental Boulevard.
Police allege that Witty failed to stop at a red light, which caused his 10-wheel, 1989 Freightliner dump truck to collide with McQuinn's 2014 Kia, striking it along the driver's side door and killing McQuinn at the scene.
“He doesn't have any criminal history,” defense attorney Theodore Lothstein said of Witty, adding his client is not a danger to the community.
Judge Paul Moore of the 9th Circuit Court, Merrimack District Division, kept Witty's bail at $50,000 personal recognizance.
Witty, who has been free on bail since his arrest last week, is the owner of Kyle Witty Excavating Co. of Cornish. However, according to Witty's bail conditions, he is temporarily prohibited from driving any commercial vehicles such as the one involved in the fatal accident.
Melissa Kowalewski, prosecutor for the Merrimack Police Department, also asked that Witty refrain from any use of alcohol.
Lothstein questioned the newest bail condition on Monday, saying although he has no problem with the request, Witty's charge does not involve alcohol impairment.
“The complaint does not charge intoxication at the time of the accident. The complaint does not charge the use of a cell phone at the time of the accident. The complaint does not charge excessive speed,” defense attorney Richard Guerriero of Lothstein Guerriero, PLLC. wrote in a motion to preserve evidence.
A police affidavit detailing the incident is under seal at the courthouse. The manslaughter complaint alleges that Witty “recklessly caused the death of Elizabeth McQuinn by failing to stop at a red light while driving eastbound on Route 101A in Merrimack.”
At least three of McQuinn's family members or friends were present for Tuesday's court arraignment. A woman who identified herself as a daughter of McQuinn said that Witty's arrest provides a little bit of relief to the tragedy.
Witty, who is now self-employed, previously worked as a road agent for the Town of Cornish.
He will be back in court on Aug. 18 for a probable cause hearing. If convicted of manslaughter, Witty could face 15-30 years in prison, and possibly lose his license indefinitely, according to authorities.