A 46-year-old Arkansas man whose SUV struck and killed Chatham Borough's deputy DPW director in April 2012 has been sentenced to one year probation, according to a news report.
James T. Hearon pleaded guilty to negligent homicide as part of a plea deal, and was sentenced last month, NJ.com reported.
The Ward, Ark., resident had been scheduled to stand trial on a more serious charge of manslaughter, and faced jail time if convicted.
Hearon was driving his Chevrolet Tahoe on I-40 outside of Little Rock when he struck Charles Dziedzic, Chatham's deputy DPW director, killing him instantly.
Dziedzic was returning from a cross-country motorcycle road trip with Chatham Borough Administrator Robert Falzarano and his brother, George Falzarano, who were seriously injured in the crash.
They were stopped in traffic for a separate accident when the crash occurred.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit for Hearon, his SUV's black box indicated he was traveling 70 mph four seconds before the crash, and 69 mph at three, two and one seconds before the crash. From eight to one seconds before impact, Hearon did not apply the brakes.
Hearon denied drinking alcohol or using his cell phone at the time of the accident.
Dziedzic, a 59-year-old Convent Station resident known for being generous with his time and energy, was married and had two daughters and a grandson. Chatham's Department of Public Works dedicated a memorial in his honor.
Long Hill residents Robert and George Falzarano were hospitalized for several weeks and released. Robert Falzarano returned to work in Chatham Borough after what borough engineer Vincent J. DeNave called "a miraculous recovery."