A charge of negligent homicide with a motor vehicle has been brought against Westport resident Brian Taplinger, 22, in the April 29 crash on Greens Farms Road that killed Westporter Geoffrey Reynolds, 70.
While driving west on Greens Farms Road, a then-21-year-old Taplinger lost control of his car and hit head-on the car Reynolds was driving, Westport Police Lt. Arthur Belile said in a statement. Taplinger reportedly told police he lost control after his dog, a Staffordshire terrier mix sitting in the passenger seat, jumped into his lap.
After the crash, both men were taken to Norwalk Hospital. Taplinger had nonlife-threatening injuries and Reynolds had severe leg injuries. Reynolds died 10 days later on May 9 from his injuries.
The dog was sent to the Norwalk Emergency Veterinarian, where it was later euthanized because of an extreme spinal injury.
The Westport Crash Investigation Team investigated, then a warrant for Taplinger's arrest was issued. Knowing a warrant was out for his arrest, Taplinger turned himself in Saturday and was released on a $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 20.
The charge carries a maximum fine of $1,000, imprisonment of not more than six months, or both.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.