Michael Spolizino listens to closing arguments today, Oct. 28, 2015,
in his fatal hit-and-run trial
The attorney for the Jersey City police officer charged in a fatal crash in April 2013 questioned an accident reconstruction expert this morning as the trial entered its fourth day, The Jersey Journal reports.
Andrew Pisani, of AP Accident Reconstruction and Analysis, is the only witness that the defense is expected to call in the trial of Michael Spolizino.
Spolizino was off-duty when his pickup truck struck Stephen Clifford, 24, on Kennedy Boulevard near Fairmount Avenue on April 19, 2013. Authorities say Spolizino was driving 60 miles per hour in a 25 MPH zone and he did not stop until he had traveled a more than a block after the crash.
Spolizino is charged with death by auto and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. He was also charged with aggravated manslaughter but the trial judge granted a defense motion to dismiss that charge.
Pisani, a former police officer, testified that a car heading southbound on Kennedy Boulevard had its high beams on, and given their relative speeds, Spolizino’s pickup truck and the car would have reached the Fairmount Avenue/Kennedy Boulevard intersection at the same time, causing glare that would have made it difficult for Spolizino to see.
He also said that the curve on Kennedy Boulevard in the area of Fairmount, as well as a slight incline in the southbound direction, compounds the effect of glare, especially if a vehicle has its high beams on. His conclusion was “The effect is that glare affected both pedestrian and vehicular traffic (at Fairmount) and it made things difficult to see because you couldn’t see beyond the glare.”
But under cross-examination, Pisani agreed that if Spolizino had been doing the speed limit the two vehicles would not have crossed paths near Clifford.
Pisani was the only witness called by the defense. After his testimony, the defense rested. Closing arguments took place this afternoon.