BOSTON (WHDH) - Jurors heard an emotional testimony Wednesday during the trial for a driver charged in the 2018 death of a toddler.
Jurors in the motor vehicle homicide trial for Charlene Casey heard from a woman who tried to save 2-year-old Colin McGrath four years ago in South Boston, as well as a 911 call that followed the chain reaction crash that Casey is accused of starting.
McGrath’s parents were in court as a Scituate woman testified. She said that, while driving home at the time, she stopped and tried to save Colin’s life by performing CPR.
“I kept talking to Colin, telling him that we loved him, and that he needed to fight, and (I) put him down (on) the sidewalk, checked his response and there was no response,” said Mary Kate Shea. “So I checked his breathing, and no breathing.”
Prosecutors say Casey was driving a Toyota Prius when she failed to stop at a stop sign at an intersection and crashed into a van that had the right of way. The state claims the impact affected the driver of the van’s ability to steer, leaving him to watch helplessly as his vehicle jumped a curb and struck Colin, his 4-year-old sister, and their nanny.
Colin was pronounced dead at Boston Medical Center, while his sister suffered broken bones, a lacerated liver and other injuries. The caretaker was not seriously injured.
“After I got hit, I slid, tried to turn my wheel, and I hit the children,” said Michael Racioppi, the van’s driver.
Racioppi admitted to having unlit marijuana in his van at the time of the crash. He said he had not been smoking while previously working as a contractor and was not distracted when the collision happened.
When pressed on the fact that the pipe had cannabis in it at the time, he said the object was sitting in his vehicle’s center console while he was driving.
Casey’s lawyers said Racioppi had also been speeding up to make a green light a block away at the time of the crash, and that they plan to focus on surveillance video over the course of the trial.
“You’re gonna see the evidence will show that that van (came) out of nowhere and sped up,” said defense attorney Steven Boozang.
A prosecutor told the trial’s judge that the jury will see the surveillance video on Thursday when the trial continues. The jury is also expected to hear from McGrath’s nanny, as well as his sister.
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