On April 13, 2016

A tragic accident and nothing more

I am greatly disheartened that the state has chosen to bring felony charges against Craig Mosher in the tragic accident that resulted in the death of John Bellis.

Craig Mosher is an outstanding individual whose tireless and timely response to open up Rte. 4 and rebuild Killington and a large part of the region in the wake of Irene is legend. To quote from a Bloomberg report at the time, “‘Craig is definitely a local hero,’ said Roger Rivera, 33, an emergency worker with the state.”

Craig Mosher is not irresponsible and certainly not a criminal. He is an upstanding pillar of the community and should not be treated such as to level questionable felony criminal charges against him.

This incident was simply a tragic accident and nothing more. Even the charge of “involuntary manslaughter” seems a reach. While there may be some liability issues those should be handled in a civil proceeding, not a criminal one.

It seems to me that the state is wasting taxpayer money and the court’s time in bringing this indictment. Craig Mosher is no more a criminal than was Mother Teresa. To put him through the wringer like this is just plain wrong. Maybe someone should look closer at what motivated the state to lodge such serious charges.

Jan Dawson, a retired attorney experienced in such cases, was quoted in a recent Vermont Standard article as stating, “I’ve never heard of anybody filing criminal charges like manslaughter,” also that it’s “not uncommon” for owners of livestock to be found liable but “sizable civil liability suits is the harshest punishment she’s seen.”

It is a shame that the state has chosen to perpetuate this awful tragedy by creating another victim in Mosher and subjecting the Bellis family to reliving this nightmare once again. I would hope Rose Kennedy reconsiders her harsh decision to prosecute Mr. Mosher.

Vito Rasenas, Killington

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