BANGOR, Maine — The Canadian trucker accused of causing a crash last summer while making an illegal maneuver on Interstate 95 was released from the Penobscot County Jail on Tuesday after pleading guilty to a felony at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
Dario Dosen, 49, of Stratford, Prince Edward Island, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated driving to endanger, a Class C crime, according to the Penobscot County District attorney’s office.
He was sentenced Tuesday to six months in jail or time served after a deduction for good time, according to Assistant District Attorney Marianne Lynch, who prosecuted the case.
In addition to jail time, Superior Court Justice William Anderson ordered Dosen to pay a $575 fine, Lynch said. Dosen also lost his right to drive in Maine for two years.
Lynch said she did not seek restitution because a civil lawsuit seeking damages has been filed against the Canadian firm that hired Dosen.
Dosen was driving a tractor-trailer loaded with watermelons at about 6 p.m. on Aug. 23 when he attempted to use an “authorized vehicle” turnout used by law enforcement and the Department of Transportation in order to reverse his direction of travel after missing the Coldbrook Road exit, slowing down in order to do so, Maine State Police said in August.
Brian Richardson, then 33, of Veazie, who had been traveling behind the semi at what witnesses told police was a safe distance, was forced to drive around it. He then struck a guardrail and was ejected from his Chevrolet Trailblazer, police reported.
Richardson, whose injuries included a fractured spine and wrist as well as head trauma, underwent emergency surgery after the crash.
Lynch said Wednesday that Richardson is partially paralyzed and has not yet been able to return home. He did not attend Tuesday’s hearing but his wife, through Lynch, said that the family’s life had been forever changed by the defendant’s actions.
Dosen’s rig was not damaged.
Police said that Dosen was driving in the United States on a work visa. He allegedly told state police that he believed he was allowed to use the crossover road because he was permitted to do so while driving in Canada.
He had been held at the jail unable to post $10,000 cash bail since his arrest after the crash.
He faced up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.