February 4, 2013
By Evan Allen, Town Correspondent
The driver of an 18-wheel truck that allegedly struck and killed a Wellesley cyclist will not face criminal charges after a grand jury declined to return an indictment of motor vehicle homicide, Wellesley police said Monday.
However, a civil wrongful death suit against the driver and his employer has been filed in Norfolk Superior Court on behalf of the bicyclist’s family, according to a statement from Phillips Garcia Law, which represents the family.
Alexander Motsenigos, 41, was riding his bike on Weston Road near the intersection of Linden Street on Aug. 24, 2012, when he was hit. The driver did not stop, according to police.
Wellesley Police and the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office sought an indictment against the driver alleging motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation, unsafe overtaking of a bicyclist and failing to take precautions for the safety of other travelers, but the Norfolk County Grand Jury declined to indict him on any of the charges.
“The Police Department and District Attorney felt that we had probable cause,” said Wellesley Police Chief Terrence Cunningham. “We are clearly disappointed that the grand jury disagreed with that and came back with no bill. We felt that the operator of that tractor trailer should have been held accountable for his actions that day.”
Wellesley Police spent more than three months investigating the crash, according to a statement from the department, and presented the grand jury with more than 50 evidence exhibits as well as testimony from investigators and witnesses.
The grand jury, said Cunningham, is not required to explain why it chose not to indict.
With the grand jury’s decision, said Cunningham, the criminal investigation is over and the file is closed. However, the driver can still face a civil suit from the family, he said.
The Motsenigos family said it was filing a civil lawsuit against the driver and his employer to seek justice, according to their lawyer’s statement.
“Based on the evidence gathered by police, if the truck driver had used even basic care in operating the truck that struck Alex down, the accident would have been avoided and Alex would be alive today,” the statement said. “Alex was a wonderful husband and father who will never be forgotten.”