Westerly man charged with negligent homicide in 2018 car crash

A Westerly man was charged Wednesday with killing a man by negligent homicide with a motor vehicle after the two crashed into each other on Route 2 in North Stonington last June, police said.

Matthew James Cillino, 25, was charged with negligent homicide by a motor vehicle, traveling unreasonably fast, failure to use a seat belt, failure to drive right, driving with unsafe tires, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance and misconduct with a motor vehicle.

State police said in a warrant that Cillino was driving east on Route 2 through North Stonington about 11:43 p.m. on June 2, 2018, when he veered his vehicle into the opposite lane of the highway, crashing head-on into a 2009 Hyundai AGS, leading to the death of the driver.

The identity of the dead driver was not released Wednesday, but The Day reported at the time that 76-year-old Eugene J. Vincelette, also of Westerly, died from his injuries at The William W. Backus Hospital after the crash.

Cillino, who was driving a red 2014 Dodge Ram pickup truck, was found with narcotics and three syringes at the scene, according to the warrant. Though he passed several field sobriety tests, Cillino said he did not recall what caused the accident and that he was driving back to Westerly after having brought a friend to the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation, police said.

Police did not arrest Cillino at the scene, but a subsequent investigation into the accident revealed that he had been driving without a seat belt and was driving at 50 mph before he steered left into the other lane prior to the collision, according to the warrant.

Police determined, based on physical evidence from the crash, as well as accessing information stored in the Dodge’s Active Control Mount, that Cillino, for unknown reasons, failed to drive right and "failed to perceive the substantial and unjustifiable risk" that "a reasonable person would recognize."

Cillino turned himself in to Troop E and was held on a $100,000 cash bond. He appeared Wednesday in New London Superior Court after failing to post bond.

m.biekert@theday.com

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