A Pennsylvania man driving without a valid license was charged with an auto accident that killed a turnpike worker and injured two others. The suburban Philadelphia businessman was operating a work truck when the fatal
The 35-year-old defendant pleaded guilty to unlicensed driving while causing a crash involving personal injury or death. The felony conviction could put the West Conshohocken man behind bars for as long as seven years. The plea was entered without any negotiations for a compromise with prosecutors.
Court papers said the defendant struck a brightly-painted turnpike maintenance truck on the shoulder of Interstate 276 near Wilkes-Barre. The crash shoved the turnpike vehicle into an employee outside the truck.
The worker, dressed in reflective clothing and a safety helmet, was trapped against a guardrail. The 66-year-old man died of multiple injuries. An employee inside the turnpike truck suffered lacerations and a concussion. Doctors were forced to amputate the leg of a passenger in the defendant's truck.
Court records said the defendant was unlicensed because he failed to satisfy an August speeding citation. The driver's license was restored within days of the October accident after the accused man paid the balance of the fine.
An accident investigation report showed no evidence of mechanical problems or driver drug or alcohol use. The defendant's cellphone contained messages that were sent or received in the minutes leading up to the collision.
The judge refused to sentence the man until investigators produced additional information about the defendant's background.
One of the survivors will bear accident scars for the rest of his life. The loss of a leg may require long-term medical treatment and limit the victim's employment opportunities.
Legal options are available for the injured victims and the family of the deceased turnpike worker. Jury awards compensate personal injury and wrongful death plaintiffs for economic, physical and emotional harm caused by negligence.
West Conshohocken man admits to not being properly licensed during crash that killed turnpike worker
" Carl Hessler, Jr., Jun. 23, 2013