A North Andover police sergeant testified that an off-duty state trooper was speeding when he crashed his vintage Chevrolet Corvette on Sharpner’s Pond Road in May 2014, critically injuring his passenger.
Sgt. Daniel Crevier, head of the police department’s accident reconstruction unit, spent of the better part of Monday testifying as a prosecution witness in Dale Jenkins’ ongoing criminal trial on drunken driving and other charges in Salem Superior Court.
Crevier is under investigation himself for his alleged involvement in a drunken driving accident in a police cruiser while attending a conference in Pennsylvania Sept. 28. Crevier is currently on paid leave from North Andover police.
In court Monday, jurors were shown a variety of diagrams, crash scene photos and photos of Jenkins’ mangled 3,135-pound Corvette coupe.
Prosecutor John Melander asked Crevier if he felt Jenkins had negotiated a curve in Sharpner’s Pond Road “at a speed greater than reasonable” and “lost control” of the car.
“Yes,” testified Crevier, who said he has investigated 700 accidents since 2003.
The speed limit on Sharpner’s Pond Road is 40 mph.
Crevier also testified when the car crashed, the Corvette struck a telephone pole on the passenger’s side and then made contact with numerous trees, at least two of which came uprooted. He also said he found no evidence of braking after the Corvette left Sharpner’s Pond Road.
However, Crevier said he was not able to calculate the speed of the Corvette when it crashed.
On cross examination, defense attorney Hank Brennan asked Crevier about when he saw Jenkins in the booking room the morning of the crash. Crevier said Jenkins smelled of alcohol.
But was he slurring his speech, unsteady, have red or glassy eyes, Brennan asked.
No, Crevier said.
Jenkins, who worked in a state police gang unit and at times in an undercover capacity, is on trial for three charges; drunken driving causing serious bodily injury, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon (motor vehicle) and illegal possession of a firearm while intoxicated.
The crash allegedly occurred after a late-night, fire pit gathering at Jenkins’ North Andover home. A group of Jenkins’ friends gathered and were drinking beer and passing around two whiskey bottles that guests were taking sips out of, according to previous testimony.
The passenger who was critically injured in the early-morning crash but survived, Burlington Firefighter Gerry Letendre, is on the witness list. He has yet to testify in the trial.
Meanwhile, Crevier is under investigation in Pennsylvania after he allegedly was intoxicated and crashed a 2008 black Dodge Charger police cruiser.
Crevier, with fellow North Andover police officer Brendan Gallagher in the passenger’s seat, allegedly crashed a 2008 black Dodge Charger police cruiser at 12:30 a.m. while the two were attending an accident reconstruction conference.
The officers allegedly left the scene of the crash and were found later by police in their hotel, five miles south of the crash, according to a police report.
Prior to trial, Melander told Salem Superior Court Judge Kathe Tuttman that Pennsylvania charges of drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident against Crevier were “imminent.” He asked her to exclude any reference to that crash during Jenkins’ trial.
Brennan, however, wanted to question Crevier about the Pennsylvania incident. Tuttman sided with the prosecution but said they could revisit the issue during the trial if necessary.
Monday, during Crevier’s testimony, no public mention of the Pennsylvania accident was made.
Also testifying in the Jenkins’ trial Monday was North Andover police Sgt. Scott Whittaker. He booked Jenkins the morning of the accident at the police department.
Whittaker testified Jenkins’ was “slightly slurring his words,” his eyes were glassy and bloodshot, he had a relaxed facial expression, was unsteady on his feet and smelled of alcohol.
When he stood with Jenkins at the fingerprinting machine, holding his hand to fingerprint it, Whittaker said he could feel Jenkins swaying.
“I felt he was intoxicated,” said Whittaker, who said he had never met Jenkins prior to that morning.
Jurors were also shown booking photos of Jenkins, who had visible cuts and scrapes on his head and face.
Whittaker also testified during booking Jenkins said “I’m (expletive)” and “It’s all good” on “a few different occasions.”
Once placed in a holding cell, Jenkins fell asleep that morning, Whittaker said.
Brennan, on cross examination, asked Whittaker why he didn’t immediately write a report about booking Jenkins — but instead did so 74 days later. Whittaker said he was instructed by “his lieutenant” to do so.
And in this report, 74 days later, Brennan questioned Whittaker’s use of direct quotes.
“You’re telling us you remember word for word?” Brennan asked.
“Yes, sir,” Whittaker responded.
The prosecution could rest its case on Tuesday. It’s still unclear if Jenkins’ will take the stand in his own defense.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.