Westport man charged with negligent homicide in fatal April crash
Published 2:08 pm, Tuesday, October 12, 2010
A 22-year-old Westport man surrendered to police Saturday after he was charged with negligent homicide in connection with a head-on crash on Greens Farms Road last April that claimed the life of a 70-year-old man.
Brian Taplinger of Belaire Drive was driving west on Greens Farms Road, near Hales Road, when he smashed into a car driven by Geoffrey Reynolds, 70, on April 29. Reynolds died from his injuries a little more than a week later.
Taplinger was charged last week with causing the fatal crash after police concluded their investigation.
Taplinger allegedly told police that his dog, a Staffordshire Terrier mix, was in the front seat of his car and jumped into his lap, causing him to lose control of the 2005 Volvo he was driving. He collided with Reynolds' 1990 Acura.
Reynolds, formerly of Compo Road South, died May 9 from his injuries.
Taplinger was also taken to the hospital at the time of the crash, but was treated for non-life-threatning injuries and later released. The dog was taken to the Norwalk Emergency Veterinary Hospital by Westport animal control officers and had to be euthanized because of a serious spinal injury, police said.
Taplinger was charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, which carries a maximum fine of not more than $1,000, or a prison term of not more than six months or both. He was released on $10,000 bond and is set to appear Oct. 20 in Norwalk Superior Court.