Police report shows state trooper had more than twice legal limit of alcohol content in fatal Plymouth crash
The state trooper involved in a September car crash that killed two Carver women in Plymouth had a blood-alcohol content more than twice the legal limit and was carrying a handgun and ammunition at the time of the collision, according to a police report.
Trooper John J. Basler, a graduate of the most recent State Police academy class in March 2012, is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Plymouth District Court, a court clerk said. He faces charges including operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and carrying a firearm under the influence of alcohol.
State Police Spokesman David Procopio said Basler, 25, of Kingston, could face additional charges following the results of a crash reconstruction report. Basler, who suffered minor injuries in the crash, has been suspended without pay. He was not on duty at the time of the accident.
“His status will be reassessed after the criminal process,” Procopio said.
Basler’s attorney, Richard Rafferty Jr., could not be reached for comment.
Commenting on Basler’s upcoming arraignment, Richard Macchi Jr., the son of the one of the victims and brother of the other, said Tuesday, ”There’s no anger, per se. Feelings for retribution and all that stuff, that’s not the style of our family.”
He said his mother Susan, 64, was a mental health therapist and artist who dabbled in sculpture, painting, photography, and bead-making. His sister Juliet, 23, was a recent graduate of Harvard University and was planning to move to California to enter the movie business, he said.
“I like to focus on what my mom and Juliet represented in terms of their lives,” Macchi said. “I try not to dwell on the circumstances of the accident.”
The fatal crash occurred shortly after midnight on Sept. 22 when Basler was driving to his home in Kingston after attending a party in Wareham. Witnesses at the party told Plymouth police he consumed one beer during the night, according to the report. State Police later determined Basler had a blood alcohol level of .19, although their earlier tests showed a higher level.
While driving on Federal Furnace Road, Basler’s black Toyota Corolla collided with a Dodge Neon driven by Susan Macchi.
There were no witnesses, but several people who stopped at the scene after the crash told Plymouth police that heavy rain had broken out in the area several minutes earlier, the police report stated.
According to the report, one of the responding officers wrote that Macchi’s vehicle crossed the center line and struck Basler’s car.
When Plymouth police arrived at the scene, they found Basler lying on the ground outside his car; officers did not believe he had been ejected from the vehicle, the report said. He told officers he had no recollection of the crash, and that he was employed by the State Police.
Officers found a loaded .45-caliber magazine, which holds rounds of bullets, on the floor of his car and .45-caliber Auto Ordnance 1911 pistol lying in the bushes a dozen feet from the car, according to the report.
A witness who attended the party with Basler, the report said, told police that when he visited the trooper at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth the next day, Basler told him he had thrown the pistol in the bushes because “he was nervous about a bystander” taking the gun.
Procopio said he could not confirm whether the pistol was Basler’s service weapon. But all troopers are issued .45-caliber handguns, he said.Todd Feathers can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ToddFeathers.