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Hopkinton man charged with vehicular assault in woman’s death

A Hopkinton man who the police said fatally struck a motorcyclist while turning into his driveway last month has been charged with vehicular assault.

Brodie Wilcox, 34, failed to yield the right of way to a driver approaching in the opposite direction, “negligently” causing the death of Jane Davis, according to the charge filed Tuesday in Concord’s district court.

According to court documents, the Oct. 8 collision happened as Wilcox was pulling into his driveway at 1723 Hopkinton Road. The motorcycle was approaching in the oncoming lane, and 59-year-old Davis of Newton was thrown from the bike and pronounced dead at the scene, according to the police.

Wilcox declined to comment yesterday.

The charge against him is a Class A misdemeanor that carries up to one year in jail or a $2,000 fine.

Davis’s sister, Susan Mottram of Haverhill, Mass., said yesterday that she doesn’t know how to react to the charge because so many questions remain around what caused the crash.

“Sometimes it’s faulty breaks,” she said. “It’s the sun. I know it was a very nice day. But I don’t have that answer. All I have are the charges. That’s all I’ve got.”

Davis was a passenger on the motorcycle. The driver, 61-year-old Albert Rizzo of Newton, was treated for minor injuries at the hospital. Mottram said Davis and Rizzo are longtime friends – and one-time high school sweethearts – who often spent Sunday afternoons and holidays on a motorcycle. The crash happened on Columbus Day.

“She had the day off,” Mottram said. “So she and he went for a beautiful ride in a beautiful little town and she never came back.”

She called Davis spirited, saying her sister had a heart attack four months ago and took the scare as “a warning” but continued living her life fully.

“She loved the open air. She died, God,” Mottram said, pausing. “She died doing what she loved doing.”

Division of Motor Vehicles records show Wilcox’s license has been suspended three times since 2008; he was permitted to drive at the time of the crash.

Wilcox first had his license suspended in 2008 for failing to appear in court, records show. Two months later he was pulled over in Concord.

Then in February 2009 Wilcox had his license suspended again, this time for having too many driving violations on his record. DMV records show that 12 days later Wilcox was arrested for driving without a valid license. That charge was later dropped.

Two days after that, he was pulled over again, but this time Wilcox tried to speed away from an officer, according to the complaint, which said Wilcox accelerated when the officer flipped on his vehicle’s flashing lights.

Wilcox agreed to a negotiated deal, pleading guilty to disobeying an officer, court record show.

In February 2010, the Department of Safety suspended his license again when Wilcox accumulated 19 demerit point violations on his record, according to a report from the hearing.

Davis has been charged with vehicular assault and also failure to yield, a violation level offense. He is scheduled for an arraignment Nov. 27 in Concord’s district court.

Bail information is not available at the court, and messages left with the Hopkinton Police Department were unreturned yesterday afternoon. Prosecutor Marianne Ouellet was also unable to be reached yesterday afternoon.

(Tricia L. Nadolny can be reached at 369-3306 or tnadolny@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @tricia_nadolny.)

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