Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Director Joe Thompson will face a motor vehicle homicide charge in connection with a crash that killed a motorcyclist last year, according to sources close to the investigation.

The Berkshire Eagle  reports Thompson's lawyer, Pittsfield attorney Timothy Shugrue, said his client is not guilty of the charge — motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation, a misdemeanor.

A show cause hearing in the case was held in Northern Berkshire District Court on May 9, Shugrue said, and Thompson's arraignment is scheduled for June 19.

"The police confirmed he had used no alcohol, was not on his cellphone," Shugrue said. "But they have elected to go forward with the charges anyway."

A spokesman for the Berkshire District Attorney's Office declined to comment for this story.

The charge comes nearly a year after the July 2018 crash that killed Steven Fortier, 49, of North Adams. Police said at the time that Thompson was headed north and Fortier was headed south on a windy section of Church Street in North Adams when the two collided.


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