The latest testimony in the manslaughter trial against former Melrose Place actress Amy Locane-Benizer came from the husband of the woman killed in a 2010 car accident. The actress is accused of being drunk behind the wheel of her SUV at the time of the accident which killed one woman and seriously injured her husband.
Fred and Helene Seeman were turning in to the driveway of their New Jersey home in June 2010 when Locane-Benizer came speeding along the road, slamming her SUV into the Seemans’ car. The impact fatally wounded Helene and seriously injured Fred. Last week, according to numerous reports including one from the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, Fred took the stand in the criminal trial against the former actress.
Seeman recounted the final moments of his wife’s life and the pain he’s suffered since that accident. Seeman said he heard “gurgling sounds” from his wife, who was pronounced dead after the crash. Seeman suffered fractured ribs and other serious injuries as a result of the accident. He told jurors in state Superior Court last Wednesday that the headlights on Locane-Benizer’s SUV were off in the distance, certainly far enough away to allow him to cross the road and into their driveway. He had not counted on Locane-Benizer traveling as fast as she was. Seeman told jurors the impact of the crash felt “like an unbelievable explosion” and as if they were “hit by a bomb.”
One account of the trial indicates that Locane-Benizer was driving 53 miles per hour in a 35 miles-per-hour zone when she slammed into the Seemans’ car. The actress said she was fleeing the scene of a prior accident in which the other person involved was allegedly chasing her. Locane-Benizer was found in a ditch, rambling incessantly, by emergency responders after she rammed into the Seeman’s car. Records show she was three-times the legal alcohol limit at the time of the accident and was completely unaware that she had been involved in a fatal car crash.
Locane-Benizer faces 30 years in prison if she is found guilty during the criminal phase of the trial. The civil case against the one-time star of the 1990s drama Melrose Place has been stayed until the conclusion of the criminal proceedings. Fred Seeman is being represented in the civil phase of the trial by the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP. The civil case against Locane-Benizer was stayed last February.
Seeman’s emotional testimony last week will have a long time to resonate with jurors as the criminal trial was unexpectedly put on hold this week as Hurricane Sandy forced its postponement. The hurricane has caused extreme damage in the state of New Jersey, where it made landfall on Monday evening. It is unknown when state Superior Court is expected to be back in session following the storm.