Rochester, N.Y. – A man is on trial for causing a fatal crash while driving drugged.
John Ariano is accused of driving a landscaping truck through a stop sign and crashing into a Jeep driven by John Blair, who was killed. The crash happened on July 11, 2011 in Wheatland.
Police say blood tests showed Ariano had marijuana and alprazolam, an antidepressant, in his system. He is charged with vehicular manslaughter, driving while ability impaired by drugs and driving while ability impaired by a combination of drugs.
“I can’t common on what someone who uses that drug would know or wouldn’t know,” said Assistant District Attorney Amanda Balling. “But it’s our position alprazolam combined with marijuana would have an impairing effect.”
Blair, 69, was a retired Xerox worker, husband, father of four and grandfather of 11.
“There certainly should be a message here. Drugs obviously are a huge factor in this case,” said Kent Blair, the victim’s son. “It’s a reminder that you do not want to get involved with drugs. John Ariano, I’m sure he didn’t intend to do what transpired. Because it affected our lives forever and it’s certainly going to affect his.”
Ariano opted for a bench trial. Testimony resumes Wednesday. His attorney declined to comment.