Monday May 14, 2012

Berkshire Eagle Staff

A Sunderland woman has been indicted on seven charges alleging that she was intoxicated at the time of a car accident that killed 24-year-old Pittsfield native Daniel J. Haley.

Haley was set to graduate from UMass-Amherst with a degree in chemical engineering two weeks after his death on April 14.

Charges filed against Brittini M. Benton, 23, included manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle, motor vehicle homicide and negligence, involuntary manslaughter, OUI with negligence, aggravated assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, and operatining under the influence.

According to law enforcement authorities and published reports, Brittini Benton, 24, of Sunderland, was driving her Volvo the wrong way in the northbound lane of Route 116 around 2:20 a.m. when she struck a motorcycle being driven by Haley. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident took place near McGuirk Stadium, about a quarter mile south of the exit to the University of Massachusetts.

Benton was taken by helicopter to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, where she was discharged later that day.

Benton had previously been convicted of OUI in 2008 and assigned to a treatment and rehabilitation program.

Haley graduated in 2006 from Pittsfield High School and earned an associate degree at Berkshire Community College before going to UMass.