Friends of Deerfield man, victim testify during negligent homicide trial
BRENTWOOD - A Danville man on trial for negligent homicide for allegedly killing his friend during a single-car crash listened to testimony about his drinking and sudden disappearance from his home before getting a panicked phone call from him.
Cameron Dearborn, 19, is facing two counts of negligent homicide for allegedly crashing a friend's 1998 Saturn on the night of Nov. 20, 2010.
The vehicle went off of Frost Road in Derry, flipped over and struck a tree, killing 17-year-old Korey Traficante. Dearborn allegedly drove off in a 1998 Saturn that belonged to a friend with Traficante as his passenger after he had been drinking with friends.
The defense spent Tuesday afternoon suggesting to jurors the teenagers called to testify had foggy or inconsistent memories about socializing with Dearborn and Traficante for an hour before the two teens left Dearborn's home.
Prosecutors maintain that while no one saw Dearborn behind the wheel, he called friends on his cell phone moments after the crash saying that he killed Traficante.
Dearborn had a small party of about a half-dozen teens at his home, where he and others were drinking beer, according to court testimony.
Ryan McHugh, 17, testified Tuesday that he wasn't aware Dearborn had left the home until he answered a house phone and heard Dearborn's voice on the line.
"He was saying he crashed the car and didn't know where he was and didn't know what happened," McHugh testified.
When questioned further about his memory, McHugh testified that it was unclear who was driving the vehicle.
"I'm not sure he said he crashed the car. He said they crashed," McHugh testified.
Jurors will be allowed to see a written statement McHugh gave to police, but will only be able to use it to consider the veracity of his testimony, according to Judge N. William Delker.
Sophia Lynch, 19, formerly of Derry, recalled that she grabbed the phone from McHugh's hand, "because I heard screaming and yelling. I don't know if they knew it was me. He said, 'I flipped the car,' and I just dropped the phone."
The jury also heard the testimony of police and firefighters who responded to the scene. State police Trooper Richard Shute testified about recovering data from the vehicle's airbag control module. Shute testified that the module essentially works like a primitive "black box" recorder seen on trains and airplanes.
Shute testified that his review of the information showed that the seatbelt on the driver's side was not buckled prior to the crash. No such data was available for the passenger's seat, he testified, due to the type of recording device in the vehicle.