Contact: Beth Stone 508-584-8120
PLYMOUTH – A Buzzards Bay man was convicted of a motor vehicle manslaughter charge today following a 2016 crash that left a motorcyclist dead, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz announced today.
After a week-long trial, a jury deliberated nine hours before finding Tom R. Traggis (DOB: 6/7/66), of Buzzards Bay, guilty of one count of Motor Vehicle Manslaughter. The jury found Traggis not guilty of Leaving the Scene of Personal Injury Resulting in Death.
On May 29, 2016, Traggis and the victim, 51-year-old Philip Rigney of Medway, were both at Shenanigans bar and restaurant on Cranberry Highway in Wareham. The two men did not interact with each other. At approximately 9:50 pm, Rigney left Shenanigans on his motorcycle. Traggis left moments after Rigney, pulling out of the parking lot in his Chevy Blazer. Less than a half mile down Cranberry Highway, Traggis’s Blazer impacted the rear of Rigney’s motorcycle. Rigney lost stability and was ejected from the motorcycle and thrown approximately 261 feet from the point of impact. Traggis continued forward, dragging the motorcycle before he ultimately lost control, drove over a guardrail and struck a tree. Traggis exited his vehicle and ran from the scene, but a passing motorist stopped Traggis and flagged down a Wareham Police cruiser. Traggis failed field sobriety tests, and officers placed him under arrest. Rigney suffered critical injuries and was pronounced dead on June 3, 2016.
Traggis is scheduled to be sentenced on September 6 in Plymouth Superior Court.
Assistant District Attorney David Cutshall prosecuted the case, which was investigated by State Police assigned to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office, the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, and Wareham Police.