Gilbertville man arraigned in July 2017 Ware death ***updated***

Date: 
02.15.2018

***Update: Avila  was found not guilty on May 14, 2019, after a two day jury trial on a charge of negligent motor vehicle homicide in connection with the July 2017 death of Stephen F. Peters, 62, of Hardwick.***

James Avila Jr.  was arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court, today, Feb. 15, on a charge of negligent motor vehicle homicide in connection with an incident that claimed the life of Stephen F. Peters, 62, of Hardwick,  last July.

Avila, 48, of Gilbertville, a village of Hardwick, Massachusetts,  was driving a garbage truck on Church Street in Ware when he is alleged to have lost control of the vehicle, causing it to leave the road and fatally strike Peters, who was working in a yard.

Avila was released on his own recognizance with the conditions that he not operate  a motor vehicle, surrender passport to the probation department and do not leave the Commonwealth without permission from the probation department.

He is due back in court April 13 for a pretrial hearing. ***Update***  Avila is due back in court June 8, 2018 for pre-trial hearing.***

The crash was investigated by Ware Police, Massachusetts State Police (MSP) Detectives Unit assigned to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, the MSP Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, MSP Crime Services and MSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Section.