NEW BRITAIN – A city man received a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty today to negligent homicide with a commercial vehicle in a 2016 garbage truck crash that killed a Wallingford motorcyclist.
Robert Choinski, 33, of New Britain, told the family of 49-year-old Raymond Smith, of Wallingford, that he was “very sorry” for the crash which occurred in Bristol while he was driving a commercial garbage truck in July 2015. “I hope he may rest in peace and that everyone can move forward,” Choinski said in New Britain Superior Court. “I am truly sorry.”
Prosecutors said Choinski was turning left onto East Road in Bristol when he struck the motorcycle driven by Smith who died at Bristol Hospital. A female passenger on Smith’s motorcycle was also seriously injured but survived. Choinski said he started his shift at 4 a.m. and didn’t see the motorcycle coming.
He had no previous criminal record, his attorney said. Choinski pleaded guilty today to negligent homicide with a commercial vehicle. New Britain Superior Court Judge Joan Alexander gave him a six-month suspended prison sentence followed by 18 months of probation, which he will start immediately. He was ordered not to drive unless he had a valid driver’s license. His license was suspended by the court for 30 days, Alexander said.
“I know that day you were working but your negligence had a tremendous effect on these people,” Alexander said before telling him to do something positive every day in the memory of the victim and his family.
Staff writer Justin Muszynski contributed to this story.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com. Follow Lisa Backus on Twitter @LbackusNBH