On Feb. 25, a drunk driver accused of killing an Indiana Township man in a 2013 head-on collision pleaded guilty to the crime as part of a plea deal. The 64-year-old Penn Hills man will be sentenced to between three and six years in prison before an Allegheny County Common Pleas judge on May 20.
According to authorities, the retired physical therapy assistant left a party in Fox Chapel on Feb. 24, 2013, and drove onto Route 28 going the wrong direction. At approximately 12:30 a.m. a northbound driver swerved to avoid a collision with the defendant's wrong-way vehicle, but the car behind him was struck head-on. The car's 31-year-old driver, a chef and expectant father, was killed in the crash.
Prosecutors said the electronic data recorder in the defendant's vehicle showed he hit the brakes seconds before the crash, slowing form 52 mph to around 33 mph at impact. Lab results determined his blood alcohol content level at the time of the crash was almost three times the legal limit. He pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence.
When a family loses a loved one to an accident caused by a negligent driver, they may face financial hardship in addition to their emotional loss. Unexpected funeral costs and loss of income may make it difficult for them to make ends meet. With the help of an attorney, the victim's family may wish to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident in order to recover damages. Such a lawsuit could bring the family a financial settlement that covers funeral and burial costs, lost wages and property damages. In some cases, they may also be awarded non-economic damages, such pain and suffering before death and loss of companionship.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Penn Hills man pleads guilty to fatal drunken-driving crash on Route 28", Paula Reed Ward, Feb. 25, 2015