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Police: Stoneham man accused of Melrose hit-and-run apologized before fleeing

Posted by Matt Byrne  September 4, 2012 01:14 PM

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The 76-year-old Stoneham man accused of running over a motorcyclist Sunday morning at a Melrose intersection and then fleeing the scene admitted to police that he hit the vehicle, but said he does not remember what happened to the man riding the yellow Harley Davidson, contradicting witnesses who said he apologized as the biker lay injured.

According to Melrose Police reports filed Tuesday in Malden District Court, Eugene Ledonne, 76, was waiting at a red light in the northbound lane of Main Street at the intersection with Franklin and Green streets, behind a motorcyclist who was first at the intersection.

"The light turned green and the motorcycle was in front of me and was not moving so I went and I hit the motorcycle," Ledonne told police, according to the report.
 
"The bike fell and then I stopped the car at some point and got out and I got back in the car and backed up because of traffic and then I blacked out," he said.

The motorcyclist, identified in court records as Anthony V. Albano, was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with serious injuries. Associates said Albano is from Everett. On Tuesday afternoon he was listed in stable condition, according to the office of Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.

Ledonne is charged with leaving the scene of personal injury and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

A not-guilty plea was entered on Ledonne's behalf by his attorney, Paul R. Chomko, during a brief arraignment in Malden District Court Tuesday. Ladonne did not speak. He was released on $300 bail, and Judge Matthew Nestor barred Ledonne from driving and ordered him to stay away from the motorcyclist who was hurt.

The interview Ledonne gave to police came after officers tracked the grey Hyundai sedan he was driving when a witness captured a partial license plate number. Police found the car registered to a Gerald Road address in Stoneham, where Ledonne was also a resident. When police arrived, parked outside was a grey sedan that matched the partial plate number, and showed front-end damage, according to police.

But Ledonne's statements to law enforcement differ from accounts by bystanders at the scene.

Witnesses at the intersection said Ledonne ran over the motorcyclist, backed up over the injured man at least once, and got out of his Hyundai sedan and apologized, saying "I'm Sorry," as the man lay injured in the roadway before Ledonne drove way.

According to Melrose Police, a bystander at the scene snapped a cellphone photo of Ledonne standing over the injured man.

In his statement to police, Ledonne said he could not recall what happened after he hit the motorcycle.

"I do not remember anything else. I do not remember what happened to the driver [of the motorcycle]."

According to records provided by the Registry of Motor Vehicles, Ledonne's license has been indefinitely revoked following Sunday's collision because authorities deemed him an immediate threat to public safety.

Ledonne has been involved in two accidents in Stoneham that prompted insurance surcharges, one in 1983 and another in 2006, according to the records. He also was charged with two moving violations, both for failure to stop in Stoneham, in 1994 and 2004.

This is not the first time Ledonne has lost his driving privileges. His license was suspended in 1995 for failure to make payments to the registry; his registration also was suspended for failure to pay.

Messages for Chomko, Ledonne's attorney, were not immediately returned Tuesday.

Matt Byrne can be reached at mbyrne.globe@gmail.com.

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