Man pleads not guilty to drunken driving in fatal crash

Sean E. Jackman’s face was battered and his neck was wrapped in a protective collar as he was ­arraigned in a Boston hospital Monday on drunken driving and other charges after a weekend crash in Canton that killed Evan Bard, a Curry ­College nursing student.

With his distraught parents looking on in the Boston Medical Center room, the 24-year-old Jackman was silent as Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Melissa Brooks asked Stoughton District Court Judge ­Richard Savignano to set bail at $500,000 cash, a request the judge granted.

Jackman’s lawyer , Bethany Rogers, entered not guilty pleas on his behalf to charges of motor ­vehicle homicide while drunk and negligent operation of a motor vehicle while drunk causing serious injury. He was also cited for speeding and a marked lanes violation, according to a Canton police ­report.

Bill Greene/Globe Staff
Sean Jackman was injured in the crash; Evan Bard died.

Rogers had urged the judge to set bail at $10,000 cash, empha­sizing that Jackman had no prior criminal history and lives in Stoughton with his family, giving him strong ties to the Boston area.

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According to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, Jackman was cited for speeding in Middleborough in 2011, but had no other traffic violation. However, because of the circumstances of the crash, the Registry suspended his license Monday on the grounds that he poses an immediate threat to public safety if allowed to drive. He also faces an 180-day suspension for refusing to submit to a breath test after the crash, according to Registry records.

According to the police report and Bard’s friends at the Milton college, Bard and ­Jackman had dated, then broke off their relationship, but stayed friends. They were returning from a wedding when the crash took place late Friday night on Bolivar Street, records show. Bard, of Agawam, was in the front passenger seat of Jackman’s Toyota Corolla when the car smashed into a wall and a tree in front of the Waterfall Apartments.

The crash propelled tree branches into the passenger cabin of the car, causing Bard, who was wearing a seat belt, catastrophic head injuries. She was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after midnight .

A nurse who stopped to help told police that Jackman was alive but not responsive when she found him in the driver’s seat of the car. A Canton police officer and two Canton firefighters who rushed Jackman to the hospital reported smelling alcohol coming from him, according to police.


Police said they saw skid marks that began underneath the railroad bridge on Bolivar Street, passed across the center line in the street, and jumped the curb before reaching two trees, one of which was cut in half by the impact.

Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey handed the case to Suffolk prosecutors to avoid any conflict of interest, officials said. Jackman was an ­intern for Morrissey’s predecessor, US Representative William R. Keating and is the nephew of Michael Jackman, who worked in the prosecutor’s office before joining Keating’s congressional staff, records and officials said.

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@
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