Florence woman pleads not guilty in police cruiser crash case

Staff Writer
Published: 3/24/2021 7:05:15 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A 25-year-old Florence woman pleaded not guilty in Northampton District Court on Wednesday to a number of charges related to a crash in late January that hospitalized her and Northampton Police Officer Matthew Knowlton.

Maleaha Aquadro was released on her own recognizance on the condition she not use alcohol or drive a car, according to her lawyer, Michael McHale of Amherst.

Aquadro is accused of driving at approximately twice the speed limit at around 11:30 p.m. on Jan. 30 when she veered into the oncoming lane and crashed into the vehicle of Knowlton. Police said Knowlton’s radar check clocked Aquadro traveling at more than 70 mph in a 35 mph zone on Rocky Hill Road/Route 66.

Knowlton suffered a broken leg, cut himself out of his seat belt and climbed out of his window to aid the other driver, police said. Both she and Knowlton were hospitalized after the crash.

Acquadro’s charges include reckless assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and OUI while reckless operation causing serious bodily injury, according to Mary Carey, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for May 27, Carey said.

Greta Jochem can be reached at gjochem@gazettenet.com.

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