NORWICH – The prosecution’s accident reconstruction specialist Thursday painted a detailed theory of how Peter M. Wlasiuk allegedly murdered his wife.
Also in court were two witnesses who claimed they heard a woman scream on the night of April 3, 2002, calling into question the prosecution’s premise that Patricia Wlasiuk was already dead when she entered the water.
Sergeant Andrew Frate has been an accident reconstruction specialist since 1987 for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Thursday, he testified to his findings during his examination of the alleged Guilford Lake accident.
“In my opinion this entire incident was staged and claimed to be an accident. It’s filled with inconsistencies and impossibilities,” Frate told Wlasiuk’s jury of eight women and four men.
Frate recalled the original account of the accident he received before beginning his investigation based on Wlasiuk’s statements given to police on April 3 and 5, 2002.
Wlasiuk’s original story
The couple’s truck was traveling at around 55 miles per hour at about 12:15 a.m. April 3, 2002 on Route 35 in the Town of Guilford with Peter Wlasiuk as the passenger and his wife Patricia as the operator. A deer suddenly appeared in the roadway and Patricia made a quick avoidance maneuver that caused the truck to fishtail before veering through a 33-foot gap in the guardrails. Peter Wlasiuk opened the passenger’s side door while the truck was going under and attempted to extract his wife from vehicle but couldn’t because he was pulled beneath the sinking truck and out his door by the force of the water.
Considered an expert in the field of accident reconstruction, Frate was allowed to express his own professional opinion on how Patricia Wlasiuk died.
Frate offered his primary theory “not just as an accident reconstruction specialist, but as a seasoned police officer working on patrol,” he said.