A 24-year-old Maine man plead not guilty earlier this week for his role in a fatal crash last summer on Interstate 91 in Norwich. Mason Morissette pleaded not guilty to one felony count of gross negligent operation of a vehicle with death resulting, and a misdemeanor count of gross negligence Tuesday in Windsor Superior Court.
Morissette’s logging truck hit the disabled truck of 54-year-old David Stefanik on Aug. 17, while the Florida man was pulled over in the breakdown lane tending to a flat tire.
Police found during their investigation that Morissette had been texting about 15 minutes before the fatal crash, though prosecutors have not publicly acknowledged what they believe distracted him at the time of the accident.
Morissette was released after Tuesday’s hearing on a $10,000 unsecured appearance bond, and will next appear in Windsor Superior Court March 7.
If convicted of the charges, Morissette could face up to 17 years in prison.