Homicide by Vehicle
I represented Steve. Steve is a good man. It doesn't always happen with attorneys and their clients, but Steve was not just a client. Steve became a friend. This case was an emotional battle. It was more than just an ordinary case. He was a commercial driver by trade. He was a good driver. He drove emergency vehicles for a volunteer fire company. He drove school buses. On one fateful day, his life changed in an instant on one fall day.
On November 7, 2007, Steve woke up to go to work. He was married; had a house with a mortgage; and a good life. On this day in a matter of seconds, his life would change for the worse and he would lose everything.
Steve was driving a tri-axle coal truck in the on state route 286 outside of Clymer, Pennsylvania during the daylight morning hours. Steve had just turned right at the main light in Clymer and was heading due west. Steve observed another truck driver that was just ahead of him.
It was a friend of his driving another fully loaded coal truck. Steve had just unloaded his load of coal and was proceeding to pick up another. Steve proceed west on State Route 286. The road had two west lanes with a combination left hand turn lane and passing in the center. The speed limit was 55 miles per hours.
About 1 (one) mile outside of Clymer, Pennsylvania State Route 286 begins to climb into a 45 degree hill. Steve was behind the other fully loaded coal truck. As the trucks approached the hill, Steve proceeded to move into the passing lane. Steve attempted to overtake the other coal truck. Before attempting to make the pass, Steve did not observe any traffic in the passing lane that he occupied.
Steve continued to complete the pass. He looked to the right and saw that he had not completely passed the other coal truck. Steve looked to his left and in an instant, there was a stopped passenger car in the passing lane attempting to make a left hand turn.
Steve had no reaction time. He thought if I go to right I will hit the other coal truck and cause a major accident which could have resulted in many fatalities. Should I go to the left into the lane of possible oncoming traffic? There was oncoming traffic. Steve knew he would kill someone instantly because of oncoming traffic. Steve said, "I jumped on my brakes and hoped for the best."
Steve could not stop. His coal truck impacted the rear end of the passenger vehicle. There was one person in the other vehicle who died of blunt force trauma.
Nearly two years after the accident, Steve was charged with Homicide by Vehicle. After years of litigating the case with Attorney Freeman by his side and going through appeals Courts in Pennsylvania, Steve was found not guilty. As a result, Steve did not go to jail for 11 ½ months to 23 ½ months.
Steve now happily resides in Central Pennsylvania with his wife and their your daughter.