An Eastbrook woman charged with manslaughter in connection with a fatal crash in the fall of 2017 is trying to have statements she made to police and the results of a blood test suppressed in the event her case goes to trial.
Darlene Haslam, 54, of Eastbrook was indicted last year in Hancock County on charges of manslaughter, aggravated criminal operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicants and driving to endanger.
The charges, all felonies, stem from a Nov. 15, 2017, incident in the parking lot of the Eastbrook Community Center on Route 200, police have said. Haslam is alleged to have been driving a pickup truck when it spun around in the community center parking lot, struck a guide wire for a utility pole, and then accelerated across the road and struck a tree head-on, the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department said at the time.
Trudy Pickard, 54, and her husband Scott Pickard, now 55, were passengers in the truck and suffered serious injuries in the collision, police said. Trudy Pickard died a few days later at a Bangor hospital, according to published media reports.
At issue in the motion to suppress are statements Haslam made to police the night of the incident and the results of a blood test obtained from Haslam, according to court documents filed by her defense attorney, Hunter Tzovarras of Bangor. Tzovarras asserts in the motion that police never read Haslam her Miranda rights, which allow someone to remain silent or to have an attorney present when being questioned by police, and that she did not give valid consent to have her blood drawn for testing, which police did without first obtaining a warrant.
According to court documents, Haslam’s blood-alcohol content tested above 0.08 percent, which is the minimum at which someone is legally considered to be intoxicated. Haslam’s precise test results are not included in the public court documents.
Matthew Foster, district attorney for Hancock County, said Friday that legal issues surrounding the validity of blood-alcohol test results can be complicated and often become points of argument in criminal cases.
“We believe the judge will determine that the blood test is admissible” as evidence, Foster said.
Tzovarras did not return a message seeking comment Friday afternoon.
A hearing on the motion twice has been scheduled to be held in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court in as many weeks, but each time has been continued. The hearing, which most recently had been scheduled for Friday afternoon, has not yet been rescheduled, according to a court clerk.