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Garbage truck driver not guilty in death of man working in Ware yard

  • Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 5/15/2019 2:26:11 PM

BELCHERTOWN — A garbage truck driver from Hardwick who allegedly struck and killed another man in Ware in July 2017 was found not guilty of negligent motor vehicle homicide following a two-day jury trial in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown. 

James D. Avila, Jr., 50, allegedly lost control of a garbage truck he was driving and drove off the road, fatally striking Stephen F. Peters, 62, of Hardwick. Peters was working in a yard when he was hit. 

Avila pleaded not guilty to the negligent motor vehicle homicide charge in February 2018. 

In a statement emailed to the Gazette, Northwestern Assistant District Attorney Andrew Covington wrote that the commonwealth is “disappointed with the outcome,” but, “respects the jury’s decision.”

“The commonwealth greatly appreciates the support from Mr. Peters’ family throughout this case,” Covington added. 

A phone number listed for Worthington attorney Torran Bagamary, who represented Avila, was not in service. 

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at

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