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Mass. state trooper suspended for involvement in fatal car crash

A Massachusetts State Trooper, who police say was drunk when he was involved in a head-on crash last month in Plymouth, has been suspended.

The crash killed a mother and her adult daughter who were driving home from a Boston Red Sox game.

Flushed and happy, it was the last picture taken of Susan and Juliet Macchi. The mother daughter-duo did everything together and the Red Sox game on September 22 was no different.

Mike Macchi said, “They were inseparable, it was, as a lot of people are saying right now, they were connected at the hip.”

The 64-year-old Carver woman and her 23-year-old daughter were driving home after the game when they were involved in a head-on crash in Plymouth with 25-year-old John Basler. Investigators say the off-duty Massachusetts State Police Trooper had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit.

On Wednesday, state police suspended the rookie trooper without pay, indefinitely.

We asked Macchi if he thought Basler should ever get his job back.

“I don’t think so. Honestly, I don’t think that would set a very good precedent. His firearm was on him, too. I don’t know if that says what we want it to about our police force.”
Macchi says he isn’t bitter or angry, that his mother, an artist and family therapist, would never want that. He says three lives have been lost. He counts Basler’s, who survived the crash, but was seriously injured, among them.

“He’s 25 years old,” Macchi said. “What 25-year-old doesn’t make a mistake? Granted, in a lot of cases, it doesn’t cost anybody their lives.”

Basler is facing charges of operating under the influence, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, carrying a firearm under the influence and improper storage of his weapon, but Plymouth’s police chief says more charges could follow.

No one came to the door at Basler’s Kingston home, but he has been released from the hospital and is expected to be summonsed to court soon to be arraigned.

But on this day, Macchi wants to focus on his family. Twenty-three-year-old Juliet had just graduated from Harvard University and their unfailingly supportive mother was picking up stakes to head out to California with her as she tried to make her way as a filmmaker.

“Juliet was brilliant,” Macchi said. “She was destined for great things. My family’s not the same. They were a bright light in this family. The brightest.”

As the investigation into exactly what caused the crash continues, the Macchis will be laid to rest. There is a wake for the women in Braintree Wednesday night. A funeral mass will be celebrated for Susan in Braintree Thursday and there will be a Memorial Service for Juliet at Harvard University Saturday.

Source: NECN