Northampton man placed on probation in connection to deadly crash in 2020

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Thomas Hanley, 78, of Northampton was placed on probation for five years and lost his license until at least October 2025 after pleading guilty to a charge of negligent operation of a motor vehicle in Northampton District Court.

Hanley admitted before a Northampton judge that he had crossed over a double yellow line on Route 66 in Westhampton into the path of a motorcycle operated by David Foster, 57, of Huntington. Hanley was trying to turn into a driveway after spotting a free lawn chair alongside the road. Foster died the next day at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield and the Chief Medical Examiner ruled that Foster’s death was caused by impact injuries sustained in the collision.

“These are among the most difficult cases when trying to come up with a fair sentence. The
Commonwealth believes this sentence incorporates a fair punishment, the ability to allow the defendant
to be rehabilitated, and a safety component to the general public,” said Northwestern Assistant District Attorney Andrew Covington. “Thanks go to the State Police for their hard work on this tragic case.”

In arriving at the recommendation on the sentence, Covington said the Commonwealth considered
Mr. Hanley’s age, his lack of prior record, and the fact that Mr. Foster’s wife forgave Mr. Hanley, was comfortable with the recommendation.

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