Pennsylvania officer killed in crash, drunk driving suspected

A Pennsylvania police officer lost his life in a two-car accident on May 5. According to reports, a Pennsylvania man was traveling on U.S. Route 30 the wrong way in the westbound lanes at approximately 2 a.m. A police officer’s SUV was in the westbound lanes and was not able to avoid the impending collision with the other vehicle. The wrong way driver is suspected of drunk driving at the time of the accident.

The police lieutenant from western Pennsylvania suffered fatal injuries in the crash. His K-9 companion was also in the SUV and was seriously injured, but is said to be recovering and living with the lieutenant’s surviving family members. The other driver and his passenger survived the crash. Apparently, the driver admitted responsibility for the crash, saying that he was wrong and deserves whatever he gets.

He faces charges of murder in the third-degree and vehicular homicide, along with three counts of DUI. Allegedly, the results of a blood test reveal that the driver’s blood alcohol content was .197, which is above Pennsylvania’s legal limit. The passenger in the van claims that the two had been drinking and went to a strip club prior to the crash.

Despite his apparent admission of fault and the statements made by his passenger in this alleged drunk driving accident, prosecutors must still prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal courtroom. Even so, his admission, the passenger’s statements and other evidence could be problematic for any criminal defense he intends to present, including any negotiations with prosecutors that may occur regarding a possible plea agreement. Since he could end up going to prison for a period of 20 to 40 years, it may be beneficial for him to exercise his right to be represented by counsel.

Source: wpxi.com, “Suspect in crash that killed officer tells judge: ‘I’m wrong – I deserve what I get’“, July 16, 2015

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