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DUI crash kills Pennsylvania motorcyclist

A 24-year-old man has been accused of homicide with a vehicle after causing a drunk driving accident that killed a motorcyclist.

The crash happened earlier this month on Route 989 in Harmony Township, Pennsylvania. Around 3 a.m., the 24-year-old Beaver County man was driving his truck and crossed the road's center line, moving into the lane of oncoming traffic. He then hit the man and his motorcycle. The 35-year-old motorcyclist was taken to a local hospital after the DUI accident, where he later died.

According to Harmony Township police, the 24-year-old fled the scene on foot. He was eventually caught but declined police officers' request to take a blood-alcohol test. A warrant provided by a judge gave police officers the grounds they needed to take a blood sample from the man.

After the blood sample was taken, police discovered that he had a blood alcohol content of 0.17, more than twice the legal limit. This was three hours after the accident so police gave an estimated blood alcohol content of 0.20 when the crash occurred.

The young man had been cited for driving without a license several times recently. The 24-year-old suspect is behind bars with a $50,000 bail. His charges are not limited to homicide with a vehicle while under the influence. He is also accused of causing a fatal accident with a suspended license, drunk driving and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

As this tragic accident clearly shows, drunk drivers pose a serious threat to others on the road. Sadly, drunk driving accidents often result in serious injury and sometimes, as in this crash, death. Hopefully this accident and others like it will make Pennsylvania drivers think twice before getting behind the wheel after drinking.

Source: WTAE, "Police: DUI Driver Without License Leaves Fatal Crash," July 18, 2011

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Gregory R. Gifford
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