Plea bargain discussed for Russian trucker
Yevgeniy Bugreyev faces multiple charges in the November 2012 crash that killed two Maryland women
Yevgeniy Bugreyev is escorted out of the courthouse following a pretrial hearing on vehicular homicide charges in a November 2012 fatal crash on Interstate 70 in South Strabane Township.
Mike Jones / Observer-Reporter
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A plea bargain is being negotiated in the case of the Russian national whose tractor-trailer crashed into another vehicle on Interstate 70 in November 2012, killing both women inside the car.
Judge John DiSalle scheduled the conference Jan. 30 to discuss the potential plea deal with Yevgeniy Bugreyev in the vehicular homicide case.
If no deal is reached, Bugreyev, 45, whose listed address is West Sacramento, Calif., likely will go to trial early next month on two counts each of vehicular homicide and aggravated assault by vehicle, and a variety of traffic violations.
State police said Bugreyev was driving west on I-70 Nov. 24 when he crossed the median and crashed nearly head-on into an eastbound car. Karen Babka, 57, and her 21-year-old daughter, Kaitlin Babka, both of Hughesville, Md., died at the scene. Three other people were injured when another car crashed into the trailer.
Investigators suspect that Bugreyev may have fallen asleep moments before the crash.
Bugreyev’s defense attorney, Josh Camson, argued Wednesday that the case should be dismissed because the district attorney’s office waited too long to prosecute. Camson said prosecutors “essentially sat on it” through much of 2013 before he made his Rule 600 motion to dismiss earlier this month. The rule states a suspect must be brought to trial within 365 days of the charges being filed unless there are delays in the previous hearings.
Assistant District Attorney Chad Schneider countered that there were “special arrangements” that needed to be made, including a Russian interpreter at all hearings, along with other issues related with the vehicular homicide charges. He listed numerous delays that would put the last day possible for trial at June 7.
“A case like this one is different than typical cases,” Schneider said.
DiSalle sided with prosecutors and rejected the motion to dismiss.
Schneider and Camson agreed to meet with DiSalle again on Jan. 30 to discuss a potential plea deal. Schneider said the victims injured in the crash have signed off on the potential deal, but prosecutors are still waiting to get approval from relatives of the two women killed in the crash.
If no deal is reached, Schneider said he expects Bugreyev’s trial to begin Feb. 3.
Bugreyev remains in Washington County jail on $1 million bond.