By Patrick Markey
Citing serious concerns over a prosecution witness, defense lawyers have delayed the trial of Anne Lamberson, the Derry-born ambulance driver charged with killing three Brooklyn children in a deadly car collision last year.
Lamberson appeared in court on Friday for the start of her trial on vehicular homicide charges, but her attorney, Michael Dowd, asked the judge to adjoin the case until his questions about prosecution evidence were considered.
Dowd said the prosecution expert on crash reconstruction — which sketches out measurements and speeds at the crash site — had presented only three pages of handwritten notes.
Complaining that the report did not contain information on the car carrying the three children nor details on the methodology in the report’s conclusion, Dowd filed a motion to bar the prosecution expert.
"This is really like numerology, It’s ludicrous," he said.
Never miss an issue of The Irish Echo
Subscribe to one of our great value packages.
Prosecutors said their expert evidence would stand and that all the figures required were in the report.
"These computations are basically high school physics," said lead prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Joe Petrosino.
Lamberson, whose parents emigrated from Derry when she was a small child, was arrested in October 1998 after the emergency vehicle she was driving broadsided Angela Igwe’s family car.
Three of Igwe’s children, aged 7, 5 and 2 were killed in the collision and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office later indicted Lamberson on manslaughter charges.
Although Lamberson had been on an emergency call when she crossed into the intersection, prosecutors believe she drove recklessly enough to warrant the indictment.
The Brooklyn DA’s office has made a plea bargain for Lamberson to accept a lower felony conviction and probation, but Dowd said his client would not accept the offer.
In preparation for a possible civil lawsuit, the Igwe family has also talked to Peter Neufeld, the lawyer who helped defend O.J. Simpson and who successfully sued the Yonkers Police Department after several officers beat a group of Irish immigrants.
Lamberson is scheduled for another hearing on Friday, Oct. 1, when a trial judge will decide on Dowd’s motion on the prosecution witness.