Maine man sentenced for drunk driving crash that killed state highway employee

A Maine man was sentenced today to eight years in prison for killing a state Transportation Department worker in September 2010 by crashing his car into the worker in a construction zone in Framingham.

Jeremy Gardner of Bridgton was sentenced in Woburn Superior Court after pleading guilty to motor vehicle homicide in the death of Gregory Vilidnitsky, 57.

Gardner was drunk when he smashed into Vilidnitsky. Gardner allegedly kept driving after hitting Vilidnitsky, a father of two, but smashed into an oil truck.

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Gardner was also convicted of leaving the scene of an accident that caused death, leaving the scene of an accident that caused property damage, and operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, subsequent offense.

Vilidnitsky, an inspector for the state, was working at a construction zone on Route 9 in Framingham on Sept. 14, 2010, when a red Ford pickup truck carrying Gardner and another man ran into him.

After smashing into the oil truck, Gardner got out of the truck and started running toward a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts. The other man, Walter Smith of Vermont, allegedly slipped into the driver’s seat and tried to reverse the truck but was unable. He then got out of the vehicle and fled in the same direction.

Construction workers chased the men down and held them until police arrived.