Author: Steven Kellis

Company Pays Millions in Deadly DUI Crash Case

dmv-hearingThe driver responsible for the death of a six-year-old boy and the company he works for has been ordered to pay $32 million to the surviving family members in connection to the 2012 crash.

Court documents indicate that Elijah Straw was just one week shy of his seventh birthday when he was killed in an accident. The family’s vehicle, a Pontiac Vibe was having car trouble while the family was traveling northbound on Route 28, 2012.

The family vehicle was struck by a truck being driven by Kirk Fair of Kittanning. The lawsuit alleged that Fair, who was working for Golon Masonry, had a record of multiple convictions of DUI. Fair also did not possess a valid driver’s license at the time of the fatal accident that cut short Elijah Short’s life.

Investigators said that Fair had plenty of time to avoid the accident but struck the Straw family’s disabled vehicle.… Read More

Alleged DUI Driver in Head-on Collision with Port Authority Bus

downloadAn accident during morning rush hour traffic involving a Port Authority bus and a driver suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol has left the bus driver and several passengers injured on Friday.

According to Port Authority spokesman Jim Richie, the accident happened at approximately 9:00 a.m. on Fifth Avenue, as the driver of a sedan crossed into the oncoming lane near Cherry Way and struck the 71A Negley bus head-on.

Ritchie said that the Port Authority bus driver was taken to Allegheny General Hospital and three passengers were taken to UPMC Mercy with minor injuries.

The driver of the sedan has been identified as Peter Steberger, 41. Police took Steberger into custody at the scene of the accident under suspicion of driving under the influence. Authorities said that prescription pills were also found on Steberger.

Steberger refused medical treatment at the scene of the crash. He is currently facing charges of DUI, reckless driving, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.… Read More

NHTSA Says New Jersey Drivers Seventh Best in the Nation

download (69)While New Jersey drivers may not be perceived by drivers in other states as being good drivers, according to one report, they are some of the best in the United States.

In a study that was based on statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which can be found at, New Jersey drivers are in the top ten, ranking in the list as the seventh best in the nation.

Criteria used in the report indicate that states were ranked according to the number of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles, traffic violations, incidents of arrests involving driving under the influence, as well as speeding or reckless driving.

It is equally surprising to know that some of the worst drivers can be found in Montana, a state known for empty space.

No matter where you do most of your driving, being safe and practicing safe habits such as not getting behind the wheel after you have been drinking are essential.… Read More

Floridian Caught in Strange DUI Case

download (68)It’s a known fact that alcohol can reduce a person’s inhibitions and give them enough “courage” to do things that they might not otherwise do under normal circumstances.

Such is the case of a man in southwest Florida who was arrested on the charge of DUI after he was caught naked and driving 110 mph on Alligator alley with three female passengers on Saturday.

Eyewitnesses called authorities after seeing a Cadillac that was driving recklessly, at times going off the roadway and into the center of the highway that spans the state of Florid, known as Alligator Alley.

The car was spotted by a Florida State Highway Patrol trooper a short time later. The FHP officer clocked the Cadillac going 110 mph before he was pulled over.

The Florida Highway Patrol has identified the driver as Noe DeJesus, 33, of Lehigh Acres.

Initially, the trooper that pulled over DeJesus observed that he wasn’t wearing a shirt and that there was an open 12-pack of Corona between the two front seats.… Read More

Officer Injured in Rear-End Accident

third-offenseWhen you don’t think your day could become any worse, there are always those situations which can prove otherwise. It can be tempting to go have a few drinks in order to forget, but getting behind the wheel before you are sober once again can make a bad day go to being a worse one.

That is what happened last week when a driver rear-ended a police cruiser and injured the police officer who was inside. The Philadelphia police officer was injured and is suffering from back and other related pain as the result of an accident. She is expected to fully recover.

A spokesperson for the Philadelphia Police Department indicated that the unidentified driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI.

The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis specialize in DUI defense lawsuits. Mr. Kellis has over 20 years of experience and has been on both sides of DUI cases. Steven Kellis has prosecuted and defended those who have had multiple DUI convictions.… Read More

Hit and Run Driver Faces Trial

dmv-hearingSometimes the circumstances of an accident can be called into question, especially if there were no eyewitnesses to an accident. That is the case for William Edenfield, 60, who is currently scheduled to stand trial for his role in a hit-and-run accident that killed 23-year-old bicyclist Taylor Lee Banks 14 months ago.

According to authorities, Banks had been riding his bike on Route 51 near Aliquippa on October 31st, 2014, when he was allegedly struck by a red pickup truck. Banks died at the scene of the crash as the result of blunt force trauma to his head and neck.

Though Edenfield’s attorney attempted to get vehicular homicide charges dismissed, the judge denied the motion.

Police stopped Edenfield on suspicion of DUI and was administered a sobriety test which he failed. Edenfield was concerned that he had he hit someone, so he pulled into a turnaround just off Route 51, at which point he was stopped by officers.… Read More

Uber Sets Up Breathalyzers for Free Ride Program

images (1)When someone decides to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other substances, it’s considered a criminal offense if you’re caught. The reasons for not drinking and driving are clear” You are not only taking your life into your own hands, but also the lives of those who are in the car with you or on the road at the same time as you are if there is an accident.

For those holding standard drivers licenses to be considered safe to drive, their BAC or blood alcohol content level should not be more than 0.08 percent. For those who hold a commercial driver’s license, whether they are off or on duty, their BAC level should never exceed 0.04 percent. This is the law in all 50 states.

In a remarkable effort to make roads safer and to help drivers avoid drinking and driving, the ride sharing company Uber set up a Breathalyzer kiosk outside a popular bar area in Manayunk on the night before Thanksgiving.… Read More

Crash in Delaware on Thanksgiving

download (8)A man has been arrested for DUI after a two-vehicle crash that happened on the night of Thanksgiving on John J. Williams Highway (SR24) in Delaware.

According to State Highway Patrol investigators, the two-vehicle accident happened at approximately 6:25 p.m. when Joseph F. Peart Jr. of Millsboro swerved his 200 Durango into oncoming traffic, striking a Volkswagen Beetle being driven by Barbara B. Hahn of Rehoboth Beach. The impact caused Hahn’s vehicle to rotate 180 degrees before it came to a stop.

Both drivers, Peart and Hahn, as well as a passenger in Hahn’s vehicle were all transported to Beebe Healthcare. Peart and Hahn’s passenger were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Hahn’s current condition has not yet been determined.

Peart has been charged with two counts of Vehicular Assault, Driving Under the Influence of a Combination of Alcohol and any Drug, Possession of a Controlled Substance without a Prescription, Reckless Endangering, Driving While Suspended/Revoked, and various other related charges.… Read More

Assault Charges Dropped in Toddler Crash, but DUI Questions Remain

images (35)A Dunbar couple who were facing felony assault charges after their toddler was thrown from an all-terrain vehicle they were driving has had those charges thrown out by a judge.

According to court documents, Fayette County prosecutors acknowledged that the two most serious charges — aggravated assault and aggravated assault by vehicle while under the influence – were not warranted because the 18-month-old boy had not suffered serious bodily injury.

At the time of the incident, State police believed that Eric Ritenour, 24, and Krystal Hall, 25, had been under the influence of prescription pills that had been found at the scene immediately following the crash on September 17th.

At the time of the accident the toddler was treated at an area hospital. He did not have a serious head injury as investigators first believed.

The couples remained in jail and were ordered to stand trial on the remaining charges. The charges include child endangerment, driving under the influence and simple assault; all of which are considered misdemeanors.… Read More

Woman Sentenced to Prison for DUI Crash

attorney-pg-blurred-v2A woman from southern New Jersey has been sentenced to more than seven years incarceration after being convicted for hitting three Rowan University students while driving under the influence of alcohol.

According to court documents, Kelli Hennessey, of Franklin Township, on this her fourth drunken driving conviction has been sentenced to 90 months in prison. The conviction centers on the July assault by motor vehicle when she hit three students who were attempting to cross the street in Glassboro. The students suffered leg injuries, and one of those hit by Hennessey suffered a broken collarbone.

In court, Hennessey testified that an acquaintance was driving the car and then fled after the accident. However, an officer testified in court that Hennessey had admitted at the scene at the time of the accident that she was the one who had been driving.

Tests at the time of the accident revealed that Hennessey had a blood alcohol level of .13 percent, nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.… Read More