Car smashed through doors of hospital radiation unit, killing doctor from Norwell and secretary from East Bridgewater
The Rockland woman who crashed her car into Brockton Hospital in October, killing two people, has been charged with two counts of motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation.
The charges were lodged against Jane Berghold, 76, on Friday, following a closed evidence hearing at Brockton District Court this past week.
She will be arraigned on Feb. 21.
According to police reports released Friday, Berghold ‘‘appeared to have depressed the accelerator pedal instead of the brake pedal,’’ causing the car to crash through the front doors of the hospital’s radiation therapy center.
The crash claimed the lives of Dr. Mark A. Vasa, 58, of Norwell, chief of radiation therapy at Brockton Hospital, and Susan Plante, 59, of East Bridgewater, a secretary at the radiation unit.
Two other employees - a physician and a radiation therapist - suffered less serious injuries.
Berghold, a breast cancer patient, had been driving to the hospital to consult with doctors about radiation treatment when the crash occurred on the afternoon of Oct. 15.
At the closed hearing, held on Tuesday, a clerk magistrate determined that there is enough evidence to charge Berghold with two counts of motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation and one count of negligent operation by a motor vehicle, court records show.
The charge of motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation is a misdemeanor, and under state law is punishable by a sentence of between 30 days and 2½ years.
‘‘You can take my law degree off the wall’’ if she goes to prison, said Kevin Reddington, a well-known Brockton defense attorney who is representing Berghold. ‘‘That’s not going to happen.’’
Reddington said he will seek a quick resolution of the case.
‘‘I don’t think delay is going to work to anyone’s advantage,’’ he said.
‘‘My client is an elderly woman who is very ill, and who feels very, very badly about what happened here.’’
‘‘She has been in a very serious state of depression after this,’’ Reddington said.
Along with the criminal charges, Berghold faces a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit filed by Vasa’s widow, Kathleen Vasa of Norwell.