A 22-year-old Pittston man has been charged with manslaughter in connection with an all-terrain vehicle crash in September 2015 that killed 18-year-old Halee Cummings, of Sidney.

Alexander J. Biddle was driving a Polaris 850 ATV late on Sept. 18, 2015, on Shepard Road when it went off the side of a gravel driveway and into a ditch at apparently high speed, striking several trees, and ejecting Cummings before rolling over onto Biddle, according to the Maine Warden Service, which investigated the accident.

On Tuesday, Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney confirmed that Biddle has been issued a summons to appear at the Capital Judicial Center in December on the manslaughter charge.

“My office reviewed the reports and approved the charge,” Maloney said via email.

At the time of the crash, a spokesman for the Maine Warden Service said it appeared alcohol and speed contributed to the crash; however, no other details about the investigation have been released.

Pasquale Perrino, an attorney representing Biddle, said Wednesday that he had yet to see the actual charge.

“Quite frankly, I was not anticipating anything,” he said. “Our position it was simply a terrible accident. It’s an absolute tragedy.”

The crash occurred not far from Cummings’ home just off Middle Road.

Cummings, the daughter of Jami Paquette and Hardy Cummings, was buried on the family’s dairy farm.

Cummings graduated in 2014, a year early, from Messalonskee High School in Oakland and enrolled at the University of Maine at Augusta. She had studied all summer and was in her sophomore year of college study.

On Wednesday her mother said the past year “hasn’t been easy.”

“I feel that anyone who does something like that should be held accountable,” Hardy Cummings said Wednesday. “I’m glad that he was summonsed for that. I didn’t have a good feeling at first that it was going to go forward.”

Cummings said Biddle was Halee’s brother’s friend.

“She was just catching a ride with him to meet some other friends,” he said.

The accident occurred in Cummings’ driveway, and he said he thinks of his daughter every time he drives past the spot.

“We’re the ones that lost, not him,” he said. “We lost a daughter and a lot of people lost a friend. We have a big hole in our heart right now.”

He said the criminal charge might bring some closure.

“It’s never the same; that’s for sure,” he said. “She touched a lot of people. She was really a determined young lady.”

The family hosted the Halee Lyn Cummings Memorial Barrel Race on July 4 at the Silver Spur Riding Club in Sidney, part of a weekend celebration of her memory.

Cummings said his daughter spent 70 percent of her time on horses.

A gofundme.com page set up after Cummings’ death raised more than $13,000 toward both funeral costs and scholarships for young riders at 2H’s Trail Riders.

A conviction on a manslaughter charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

Court records show Biddle was convicted in September 2012 in Waterville District Court for motor vehicle speeding 30-plus mph over the speed limit, an offense that occurred July 30, 2012, in Sidney. He was fined $500.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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