Chelsea man cleared of manslaughter


WORCESTER (AP) - A hot dog delivery driver who crashed into a tractor-trailer parked in the breakdown lane of the Massachusetts Turnpike in Grafton more than three years ago, killing a mechanic who'd been working on the disabled vehicle, has been acquitted of vehicular homicide charges.

A Worcester Superior Court jury returned its verdict in 64-year-old Kenneth Lava's trial Thursday after about four hours of deliberations.

The Telegram & Gazette reports that the jury's decision sent victim Dennis Scott's widow running from the court room, where she fell to the floor crying and screaming.

Police say Lava, of Chelsea, was heading west toward Worcester in December 2009 to deliver hot dogs when he struck the tractor-trailer.

Lava's lawyer says Scott, who weighed about 300 pounds, was standing partially in the travel lane.

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