Arrest made in connection with fatal Abbe Road crash

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Thu., Jun. 27, 2013
Sara Ballard, 19, is charged with two counts of manslaughter in the second degree and two counts of assault in the second degree, in addition to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol and reckless driving. Photo courtesy of SWPD.
Sara Ballard, 19, is charged with two counts of manslaughter in the second degree and two counts of assault in the second degree, in addition to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol and reckless driving. Photo courtesy of SWPD.

An arrest has been made related to the fatal car crash on Abbe Road in South Windsor that took the lives of two teenagers on May 25.

On Wednesday, June 26, Sara Ballard, 19, of 405 Sandstone Drive in South Windsor, was charged with two counts of manslaughter in the second degree with a motor vehicle, two counts of assault in the second degree, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and reckless driving. She was was released on $50,000 non-surety bond and is scheduled to appear at Manchester Superior Court on July 11.

According to police, Brooke T. Wormstedt, 15, of East Windsor, and Matthew T. Masse, 18, of Vernon, died when the 2003 Ford Explorer driven by Ballard left the roadway and struck a tree. Both were in the back seat.

“The charge of 'manslaughter with a motor vehicle' states that the reckless or negligent operation of a vehicle that results in death is manslaughter,” said Sgt. Scott Custer, public information officer for SWPD. “It wasn't intended, but it should have been foreseen, as she was doing almost triple the speed limit.”

Ballard was severely injured, as were two other passengers, Christine E. Huppe, 17, of South Windsor, and Megan E. Barnaby, 16, of East Windsor, earning Ballard the two assault in the second degree charges.

The two survivors suffered from broken bones, internal organ injuries and head injuries. Custer was informed that the survivors have returned to their homes and are expected to make full recoveries, though physical therapy will most likely be needed.

Police said marijuana was present in Ballard's system, and witnesses have stated that she smoked marijuana prior to operating the vehicle.

SWPD's traffic reconstruction team and the Metro Traffic Services squad determined that Ballard was driving between 84 and 90 miles per hour. The speed limit on Abbe Road is 30 mph.

The survivors revealed that the occupants of the car wanted to “get air” over the large humps on Abbe Road to get a “roller coaster” sensation. They traveled towards East Windsor and then turned around to try again from the other direction, at which point Ballard lost control of the vehicle.

Ballard will be represented by attorney James Sulick of South Windsor. Both the manslaughter and assault in the second degree charges are felonies, and Ballard faces the possibility of jail time.

“It's a very tragic consequence of a reckless action,” said Custer.


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