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Two children struck by pickup truck in yard, one dead

A 66-year-old man is in custody after he was allegedly behind the wheel of a vehicle that collided with two children, killing one of them. The pedestrian accident occurred in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Two children were playing in the yard just before 2 p.m. when the 66-year-old man reportedly drove into the yard. That man is currently in custody at the Lawrence County jail with no bond.

Authorities have accused the man of aggravated assault by a vehicle while driving under the influence, driving under the influence of a controlled substance and homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence. A police report indicated that a drug recognition test was performed on the man by a state trooper because he was reportedly disoriented and slurring his words. That test led police to suspect the man was under the influence of a narcotic analgesic and a central nervous system depressant, though a toxicology report will indicate exactly what was in his body at the time.

Witnesses of the accident include a neighbor and the surviving boy's grandmother. That boy, 9, and his friend, 7, were playing in the yard when a yellow pickup truck drove onto the sidewalk through an opening between a large rock and a utility pole. The truck then went up an embankment and into the yard of the home. It reached the top of a set of stairs where the children were playing and hit both of them. The 7-year-old passed away and the 9-year-old was injured.

Other witnesses were present at the scene. According to them, the driver did not stop after the accident occurred. Another neighbor chased the truck down and got the license plate of the vehicle, making sure the driver knew this. That is when the allegedly disoriented man returned to the scene. The man who chased the vehicle down said that the driver got out of his truck with one shoe and one sock on.

Source: WFMJ, "Boy killed by alleged drunk driver," Nov. 27, 2012

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Gregory R. Gifford
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