NEWTON, MA (WHDH) - A Newton man will face charges in connection with a fatal car crash that happened at a Newton restaurant earlier this year and survivors are now recalling the experience.
Bradford Casler, 55, was charged with two counts of motor vehicle homicide. He was also charged with one count of operating a motor vehicle to endanger, which means negligent or reckless driving.
Casler was driving down Chestnut Street when he allegedly crashed his SUV through the front of the Sweet Tomatoes restaurant in Newton back on March 1. The crash killed 32-year-old Gregory Morin, of Newton, and 57-year-old Eleanor Miele, of Watertown. Seven other people were seriously injured.
Tony Wilson was one of the people injured at Sweet Tomatoes. Wilson said he had just ordered a pizza to go and was waiting with his fiancee when an SUV smashed into the restaurant.
“We were standing there by the window. It exploded,” said Wilson. “The place just exploded.”
Wilson believes the SUV missed him by about a foot. He suffered a broken back and cracked ribs, among other injuries.
The Middlesex County District Attorney’s office has not revealed what they believed happened that made Casler lose control. Police said Casler’s driver’s license was revoked after the crash. His driving record includes three crashes since 1998 and a speeding ticket in 1991.
“We want to do this right,” DA Marian Ryan said Thursday when asked why it took six months to charge the driver.
As the indictment was announced Wednesday, barriers were put in place on the sidewalk in front on Sweet Tomatoes, which has been closed since the deadly crash six months ago.
“It’s important, no matter what happens, to remember Gregory and Eleanor and all the lives that were touched,” said Wilson. “Hug your kid, or hug your wife, whoever is in your life because they could be getting a pizza tomorrow and they’re gone.”
Casler’s attorney released a statement Thursday morning:
“What happened that day was a horrible, horrible tragedy. Mr. Casler feels tremendous grief and sorrow for the victims and their families. It was truly a tragic accident that his health and physical condition could not have prevented.”
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