HARTFORD, Conn. » An 88-year-old father of six from Connecticut pleaded no contest to a traffic charge in a fatal car crash that killed a pregnant woman and his wife of 67 years.
Robert Carroll, a businessman from Bristol, entered the plea Friday to failing to obey a traffic signal and agreed to surrender his driver’s license. He was also fined $75.
Carroll had been charged with manslaughter, assault, failure to wear a seatbelt, and other counts, but his plea meant the end of the case, The Hartford Courant reported.
Police said Carroll turned left in his Buick at a red light and crashed into a minivan on Route 6 in Farmington in 2013. The crash killed 27-year-old Melinda Hart, the driver of the minivan and a mother of three, and Carroll’s 86-year-old wife, Ruth. Hart was eight months pregnant.
Carroll suffered a broken leg, and three children in Hart’s minivan also were hurt.
Sandra Hart, Melinda Hart’s mother, had sympathetic words for Carroll and embraced him in court.
"Mr. Carroll, I just want you to know my family and I know this was an accident," Sandra Hart said. "We feel for your loss also. We keep you in our prayers."
Carroll apologized to Sandra Hart and told the court that he is emotionally scarred.
"Within 15 seconds of the impact, my wife of 67 years, mother of six children … died in my arms," Carroll said.
Prosecutor Donna Mambrino said the crash was "truly an accident" and a tragedy.