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Westport Man Fined in Fatal Crash

WESTPORT, Conn. – (Correction) Westport resident Brian Taplinger was fined $400 Wednesday for an April 2010 crash that killed 70-year-old Westport resident Geoffrey Reynolds.

According to court records, Taplinger, 23, was fined after he pleaded no contest to a reckless driving charge at Norwalk Superior Court. Last October, Taplinger was arrested by police on a warrant charging him with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle. That charge was dropped during a plea deal with input from victim's family, The Norwalk Hour reported .

The April 29 accident happened on Greens Farms Road. A then 21-year-old Taplinger was driving west when his dog, a Staffordshire terrier mix sitting in the passenger seat, jumped into his lap and caused him to lose control, police said. Taplinger's vehicle crashed head-on into Reynolds' car.

Taplinger received nonlife-threatening injuries, but Reynolds suffered severe leg trauma. He died 10 days later, police said. The Hour reported Reynolds died of bronchial pneumonia and blunt traumatic injuries.

Taplinger's dog had to be euthanized after the crash because of extreme spinal injuries, police said.

*This story was updated to correct a statement that said Brian Taplinger pleaded guilty to the charge.

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