Closing arguments Thursday in Bloom bench trial
Closing arguments are scheduled Thursday morning in the bench trial of Bryan Bloom, a Henry man accused of manslaughter and motor vehicle homicide from an accident June 20, 2011 near the Wyoming-Nebraska state line.
Authorities say 18 year old Johrdan Stone died from a fractured neck and head injuries when he stuck his head out from the vehicle Bloom was driving and it struck a temporary road sign in a construction zone. According to court documents Bloom was driving Stone back to Torrington after a day of drinking at the defendant's residence.
A forensic engineer appearing as an expert defense witness testified that his analysis of the scene showed that placement of a road sign and associated barrels, cones and channeling devices were not even close to recommendations shown in a variety of Federal and State highway engineering manuals.
But retired civil engineer Jim Pline testified for the prosecution that the recommendations are just guidelines not regulations. He also maintained the temporary construction signs were all in compliance with the recommendations, maintaining the sign that struck Stone was illuminated well and very visible to the driver.
Testimony at the trial indicated Bloom' blood alcohol test was .14, well over the legal limit. State Patrol investigator Monty Lovelace testified Bloom admitted he was traveling over 60 miles per hour in the 45 mph construction zone when the accident happened.
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