An off-duty Pennsylvania state trooper assigned to Troop B in Pittsburgh has been accused of causing a fatal truck accident in Erie County last week while drunk. The collision occurred in Union Township when the 35-year-old trooper was said to have veered into oncoming traffic as he headed eastbound on Old Route 6 and struck a 21-year-old driver driving in the opposite direction.
The tragic truck accident claimed the life of the younger driver, while the trooper was arrested for homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence. Authorities say his blood alcohol level was 0.147 percent, substantially more than the 0.08 percent legal limit. The collision occurred at about 10:15 p.m. on Feb. 8, and the victim was declared dead at the scene about 75 minutes later.
The victim was trapped inside his vehicle following the crash, and authorities say he died from blunt-force trauma. The trooper, who has been so employed for nine years, apparently admitted to having a few drinks before the truck accident. He indicated he was on his way back to his hotel in Edinboro at the time the incident took place. The man was also suspended without pay from his employment duties in Pittsburgh.
The victim’s family issued a statement through their attorney asking that their privacy be respected as they attempt to deal with the “senseless tragedy.” In addition to suddenly making funeral arrangements, they are left to grieve a life cut tragically short. While Pennsylvania law can never make things right, it does provide the means for a wrongful death lawsuit to recover monetary damages occasioned by the loss. Such a claim seeks to hold negligent parties accountable for their actions.
Source: Erie Times-News, “Off-duty state police trooper charged in fatal crash near Union City,” Tim Hahn, Feb. 10, 2010