Gov’t employee cleared in deadly Zimbabwe crash

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A U.S. government employee who struck and killed a man while driving in Zimbabwe in 2008 has been cleared of the only charge he faced.

Judge Leonie Brinkema found Andrew Pastirik not guilty Tuesday of vandalism in the more than $1,000 in damage done to the government-owned Toyota Land Cruiser he was driving. The trial began Monday in federal court in Alexandria, Va.

He was not charged with the death of the pedestrian. Pastirik had faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors alleged Pastirik was drunk when he struck 34-year-old Alois Pedzisai Matyoramhinga in Zimbabwe’s capital of Harare. But Pastirik’s defense attorney argued Pastirik was not intoxicated and that any other driver in the same situation would have had the same collision.

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