Man Sentenced To Eight Years In Fatal Crash

Jonathan Hayer to serve time for June accident that killed two passengers

A 23-year-old man will serve eight years in prison on manslaughter charges related to a that occurred last summer.

Jonathan Hayer, of Connecticut Ave., was sentenced Tuesday to serve two consecutive sentences of nine years in prison, suspended after four years. Judge Kevin McMahon of the also ordered him to serve three years of probation, during which time he must attend alcohol evaluation, counseling, and treatment; have no contact with the victims' families; and complete 50 hours of community service for each year of probation. Hayer's driver's license will also be suspended for 10 years.

According to an affidavit by Detective Franklin Jarvis of the , Hayer was the driver of a 1999 BMW 528i sedan that collided with a tree outside the early in the morning of June 19. Hayer survived the crash, but passengers Emiliano "Pookie" Perez, 22, and Orlando "Capo" Acosta, 21, died of their injuries.

Hayer told police that he was driving the car east on Vauxhall Street and lost control when an animal ran in front of the vehicle and Perez grabbed the wheel. He said he drank two beers and one shot of rum earlier in the evening at a party on Ashcraft Road, but that he did not feel drunk.

At a sobriety test administered at the scene by Officer Joe Buzzelli, Hayer "lacked smooth pursuit in each eye" during a horizontal gaze nystagmus test and also failed to walk smoothly during a "walk and turn" test. A blood test taken at determined that Hayer had a blood-alcohol level of .112, above the legal limit of .08. An accident reconstruction by Officer David Ferland concluded that Hayer was traveling at 66 miles per hour and lost lateral stability after an evasive maneuver near the intersection of Summit Ave.

Hayer was later charged with two counts of manslaughter and one count of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He to the manslaughter charges on Feb. 22.

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