By Lisa Redmond
AYER -- He allegedly fell asleep at the worst possible moment.
Xavier Roman allegedly told police he fell asleep behind the wheel of a box truck and slammed head-on into Claire Boudreau's car, killing the 67-year-old former Littleton resident.
Roman is scheduled to go on trial Monday in Ayer District Court charged with misdemeanor motor-vehicle homicide. A state police accident reconstructionist found there were no weather conditions, no defects in either car, and no drugs or alcohol that contributed to the crash.
Roman, 23, of Lowell, has pleaded not guilty to charges of motor-vehicle homicide by negligent operation and marked-lanes violation in the Nov. 15, 2011, crash.
Ayer police allege that at 5:45 a.m., Roman was driving a box truck on Littleton Road (Route 110) when he allegedly crossed the center line and hit a Toyota Prius being driven by Boudreau, of Ayer. Boudreau died at the scene.
At Roman's arraignment, defense attorney Andre H. Gibeau said this was "simply an accident." Gibeau said Roman tried to swerve to avoid hitting the other car.
"There was no intent to harm anyone," he said.
Roman told police he was driving after only five hours of sleep between shifts when he fell asleep at the wheel. Police say the truck crossed the center line and hit Boudreau's Prius head-on and flipped over on top of the Toyota.
When police approached Roman, the first thing he asked is if the person in the other car was OK, Sullivan said.
A witness told police the truck was traveling east on Route 110 in Ayer when it crossed the center lane and tried to swerve back into the correct lane, but flipped over.
Boudreau worked as an accountant assistant for the Town of Littleton, and later for Assurance Technology Corp. in Carlisle for more than 20 years. She was involved in Girls Scouts as a leader for 45 years. She was also active in the National Alliance on Mental Illness, serving on the board as past president.
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