Wednesday, May 22, 2013
SPRINGVALE – A Rhode Island man appeared Tuesday in Springvale District Court to face a charge of manslaughter in a vehicle crash that killed his friend.
Christopher Bennett, 20, of Johnston, was charged with manslaughter and drunken driving after an incident that began on the University of New England campus in Biddeford and ended with a crash into a utility pole early Sunday morning. Anthony Ciccone, 20, of Pepperell, Mass., was killed.
Bennett did not enter a plea during Tuesday's court proceeding. His bail was lowered from $300,000 to $25,000 cash.
Biddeford police said they were contacted by the university's security staff Saturday night for assistance with two intoxicated men who were creating a disturbance in Sokokis Hall.
The men were not students, but were looking for a 21-year-old male friend who lives in the residence hall, said Deputy Police Chief JoAnne Fisk. She would not release the name of the friend.
UNE security could not stop the two men, who left campus and drove toward the center of Biddeford, police said. Police saw a vehicle with a matching description -- a dark Ford Explorer with Rhode Island license plates -- speeding on Pool Street but lost sight of it.
Another officer reported that the vehicle hit a utility pole on Pool Street as it was headed downtown. Ciccone was taken to Southern Maine Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Fisk said Bennett and Ciccone arrived in the area on Friday. The police investigation will look into what the two men did from then until the crash and how they got alcohol, Fisk said. The accident reconstruction will likely take another week to 10 days to complete, she said.
Fisk said police did not yet have the blood-alcohol test result for Bennett.
Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at: email@example.com