LaBonte pleads not guilty in fatal bicycle crash

11:42 AM, Nov 15, 2013   |    comments
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ALFRED, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The driver of a pickup truck that struck three bicyclists in Biddeford last summer has pleaded not guilty to charges related to the accident.

David P. LaBonte was in court on Friday to answer charges filed in the accident that killed 52-year-old Jamerico Elliott.

The accident happened in early August when LaBonte's truck crossed Route 1 in Biddeford and hit Elliott's bike as he was riding on a sidewalk with his 15-month-son in a bicycle seat. The boy's mother, Melodie Brennan, was also struck on her bicycle.

LaBonte pleaded not guilty to several charges, including manslaughter, drunk driving resulting in death, aggravated assault and reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon.

In August, the York County District Attorney's Office told NEWS CENTER two blood alcohol tests were taken after the accident. The first showed LaBonte's blood alcohol level to be 0.17%. The second, taken several hours later showed a 0.15%. Maine's legal limit is 0.08%.

In a court affidavit, police say Labonte's truck was believed to be traveling at approximately 35 mph at time of crash. The document also quotes a witness who said Labonte's truck "never took any evasive action, applied the brakes, turned or signaled in any way." The affidavit cites another witness who looked in Labonte's vehicle and said he looked as though he fell asleep and had his head down.

After the accident, LaBonte said he had an asthma-induced coughing fit and passed out.

Records show that Labonte has 4 OUI's between 1983 and 2006, and speeding tickets between 2008 and 2010. He does not have any violations since 2010. LaBonte was driving with a valid conditional license at the time of the accident. Because of the previous OUI convictions, LaBonte was not allowed to have any alcohol in his system while driving.

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