- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - The man charged with crashing into a police vehicle on the Massachusetts Turnpike resulting in the death of a state trooper has been arraigned.

David Njuguna (juh-GOO’-nyuh), of Webster, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to manslaughter and related crimes in the death of 44-year-old Trooper Thomas Clardy.

Clardy had stopped a car for a traffic violation in Charlton on March 16 when his cruiser was hit by Njuguna’s vehicle. Witnesses say Njuguna’s car had swerved across all three travel lanes without slowing.

Clardy was later pronounced dead at a hospital. The 30-year-old Njuguna was hospitalized with serious injuries.

Prosecutors allege that Njuguna had smoked marijuana shortly before the crash. Njuguna’s attorney, Peter Ettenber, says Njuguna denies he was high on the drug.

Njuguna was held on $500,000 cash bail.

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