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Fatal Pennsylvania car accident leads to sentencing for homicide

A Mercersburg man who pleaded no contest to aggravated assault and homicide by vehicle faced sentencing on Dec. 17. The 20-year-old man driving a Ford Mustang killed one teenager and severely injured another in a 2013 car accident, and he received 18 months to 10 years in a state prison for the charges.

The motor vehicle accident took place on June 1, 2013 when the Ford reportedly traveled at a high-speed of at least 100 mph, and the vehicle went through an intersection while failing to stop for a stop sign. The Ford collided with a telephone pole, and an 18-year-old passenger, who was from Greencastle, died days after the crash occurred. Another passenger in the vehicle received injuries to her spinal cord and femur and was hospitalized for three months, and she now has permanent limited mobility.

Witnesses reported that the driver tried to flee the scene after the crash on Lemar Road, and another witness said the man tried to remove the license plate from the Ford. The Ford driver told the police he lost control of the vehicle while speeding, and one passenger in the vehicle thought his fast driving was an attempt at showing off. He expressed remorse during sentencing, but his defense attorney argued that the man's mental health issues did not allow him to fully appreciate the consequences of his actions.

Even those who unintentionally cause a car accident can face consequences in civil or criminal court when someone is injured or killed. Any behavior that is negligent and not considered to be something reasonable drivers would engage in could make one liable for a wreck, and a wrongful death suit may help a victim's family recover financial losses related a car accident like funeral expenses.

Source: Hearald Mail Media, "Mercersburg man charged with homicide by vehicle waives prelim," Roxanne Miller, Nov. 14, 2014

Source:, "Pa. man sentenced to prison in vehicular homicide case that claimed teen's life", Jennifer Fitch, December 17, 2014

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