Relief seemed to be felt throughout the lower shore community once it was learned 17 charges, including four felonies, were filed in connection to Gavin Knupp’s death last July.
Tyler Mailloux’s name has been linked to the case since the week it happened. His name has been used online as well as even appearing on signs during peaceful protests held throughout northern Worcester County. The implication was deliberate, and the intent was to make it known Mailloux, 22, was the driver who hit Knupp on Grays Corner Road and left the scene immediately. If he was not going to turn himself in or cooperate with authorities, the goal seemed to be to make his life uncomfortable while the investigation continued. To be certain, there has been tremendous ache throughout the community over Knupp’s tragic passing.
The highest charge — failure to immediately stop vehicle at scene of accident involving death – carries a 10-year maximum sentence and $10,000 fine. Reactions ranged from relief to disappointment to this week’s charges. The frustration over the charges stems from the hope there would be a vehicular manslaughter charge. Maryland law defines manslaughter by vehicle as “causing the death of another person while driving in a ‘grossly negligent manner.”
It appears the burden of proof for manslaughter was too much for prosecutors to pursue the high charge in the Knupp case. When asked this week by WBOC if she was disappointed about the lack of a manslaughter charge, mother Tiffany Knupp said, “I am upset about that. It was tough coming to those terms but also it’s not going to bring Gavin back. We have to get what we can get right now.”
The road to justice has been a long one for the Knupp family and loved ones, but there was a sense the healing is beginning now with the prospect of accountability being applied and ultimately justice as a result of the long investigation.