Category: Pennsylvania DUI Accidents

american flag waving in the wind

Stay Safe This Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is the start of the summer season, even though summer doesn’t officially start for a few more weeks. According to the National Safety Council, the weekend can be a deadly one for those on the road. Using statistics, members of the Council estimate that there will be 40,000 injuries and over 380 deaths over the weekend. You can do your part by making sure that you, your friends and family are practicing safety.


For some, alcohol is a part of barbecues and other cookouts. If you are of legal age, there is nothing wrong with consuming a beverage or two. The problem stems from overconsumption. It is also risky to combine alcohol and other activities such as grilling, swimming and driving.

Do not consume alcohol in excess. This is especially true if you are going to be outdoors in the sun. The sun and heat will exacerbate the effects of alcohol and you will dehydrate more quickly.Read More

Car key on the bar with spilled alcohol and empty bottles

When Police Get Charged with DUI

People tend to think that police abide by the law at all times. We picture them as upstanding citizens, and that’s a natural assumption — most are. What happens when the police run afoul of the law and find themselves arrested? A story recently hit the news in Pennsylvania that answers just this question.

An Overview

An officer with the Erie Bureau of Police was driving her off-duty vehicle on February 18 when she crossed the center line. She ran headlong into another car, causing the driver of that car to be fatally injured. She was charged with several felonies, including homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, aggravated assault by DUI and homicide by vehicle. Her bond was set at $75,000.

The Accident

According to reports, the officer was driving under the influence of alcohol when she crossed the centerline. She hit one car head on and then another ended up involved in the collision.… Read More

Car Keys Bottle of Beer Drunk Driving

Wild Wrong-Way DUI Crash Caught on Video

Car Keys Bottle of Beer Drunk DrivingA man in Penn Township was recently arrested on a driving under the influence when he caused a wreck going the wrong way on the highway. The man, Jonathan Lukart, is from Trafford and was driving on Route 130 early morning last week when he caused the crash.

The entirety of the crash, including about a minute of erratic driving, was caught on video by a passenger in the car behind Lukart. For that minute, the two men in the car behind can be heard on the video talking about how the car in front of them was going to crash. The driver also laid on his horn for several seconds to warn Lukart that he was on the wrong side of the road.

For those familiar with Penn Township, the man started recording the video when Lukart was near S and T Bank across from Pleasant Valley Road. They continued recording until the accident happened right before Lucci’s Restaurant.… Read More

Alleged DUI Crash Causes Fire

downloadPolice have arrested a man and have charged him with allegedly driving while under the influence of alcohol when he crashed his truck into a tree and the truck caught fire.

Authorities have arrested Michael Fitzpatrick, 25, of Cape May Court House, New Jersey in relation to an accident. Fitzpatrick was driving a 2007 Ford F150 pickup truck northbound on Union Street Extended (SR5) towards Coastal Highway (SR1) in Milton, Delaware around 5;00 a.m. Sunday morning. Fitzpatrick’s truck crossed both the southbound and northbound lanes and entered Brumbley’s Family Park on Brumbley Place.

Police indicate that the vehicle then struck two tree stumps and a rock before it crashed into a large tree before coming to a stop. The impact caused the truck to burst into flame and both the vehicle and the tree that it struck were on fire. Authorities say that the impact also caused heat damage to home that was located on the property.… Read More

Officer Loses Life in DUI Crash

download (35)A police officer has lost his life after being struck and killed by a hit and run driver that investigators now say was intoxicated at the time of the fatal crash.

Police Officer Lamar Poole Sr., 42, died when his motorcycle collided with a hit-and-run motorist driving a 1999 Toyota Corolla who turned in front of him. The accident happened at Devereaux Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philadelphia.

Investigators have arrested the motorist who fled the scene. A tow truck driver witnessed Louis John Vogwill and caught and held Vogwill a few blocks away from the accident until police arrived on the scene.

Police arrested Vogwill who they say had been driving drunk at the time when he struck Poole.

Vogwill is currently being held on $500,000 bail on charges of involuntary manslaughter, homicide by vehicle, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, DUI, fleeing the scene of an accident and other related offenses.… Read More

K-9 Officer Retired after DUI Case Kills Partner

images (85)A K-9 officer was officially retired from the police force of Ligonier Township located in Westmoreland County on Tuesday night.

The K-9 officer, Blek, lost his partner, 17- year police veteran, Lieutenant Eric Eslary, who was killed in a crash with the driver of an SUV that was going the wrong way in May.

Ligonier Township Police have also permanently retired Badge Number 4 which belonged to Eslary.

It is believed that the driver of the vehicle that struck Eslary’s police SUV was intoxicated at the time of the accident. The first responders to the scene of the accident reported smelling the strong odor of alcohol on the breath of the suspect, Clair Fink III.

Fink was arrested and charged with DUI in connection to the crash.

After the crash, Blek refused to leave his partner’s side and had to be coaxed from the wreckage of the police vehicle.

Blek was also injured, having suffering injuries to his legs as well as having internal injuries.… Read More

Men Accused of Stealing Police Boat while Intoxicated

downloadThree men have been accused of attempting to steal a boat that belonged to the Pittsburgh Police Department from the parking lot of police headquarters while intoxicated. According to their attorney, it’s all just a misunderstanding.

According to authorities, Devin Gloeckl, 23, Lowell Gloecki, 53, and Luke Miller, 25, are all currently facing charges of theft for the incident that happened last weekend. Reports indicate that the men were found shirtless and drunk in the parking lot of Police headquarters located on Western Avenue.

It appeared as if the men had been attempting to put the boat and trailer onto the back of their own pickup truck because the tow hitch of the flood rescue unit had been removed.

Their attorney denies that they were actually trying to steal the boat. Rather they had just been at the U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team game and were in a celebratory mood and their behavior led others to think they were doing what they weren’t doing.… Read More

Five Injured in DUI Crash in Absecon

downloadAbsecon Police officers have arrested a motorist and charged him with drunken driving following a crash after an Atlantic City beach concert. The crash left five people injured.

Authorities have identified Corey Thacker, 27, of Little Egg Harbor Township as having driven his Dodge Caravan while intoxicated, refusing to take a breath test, reckless driving, and disregarding a traffic signal.

Thacker had been driving eastbound on Absecon Boulevard near the Home Depot in his Dodge Caravan when he ran a red light, police said.

Thacker’s vehicle struck Nissan Altima that was attempting to turn onto Absecon Boulevard. The impact sent the Caravan into the westbound lanes of the street and struck a Ford Explorer in a head on collision, causing the Caravan to burst into flames.

No matter whom you are or the circumstances surrounding your alcohol related charge are, having a good defense on your side when facing the charge of DUI or DWI is extremely important.… Read More

DUI Driver May have Ran Stop Sign before Hitting Teen

download (17)A hit and run accident in West Philadelphia has left a 17-year-old boy injured in an incident that occurred at 57th Street and Westminster Avenue on Saturday morning.

According to police, a man has been arrested and is being held under suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

It is believed that the man, driving a gold Buick LeSabre that sustained severe windshield damage and that ran stop signs around 1:40 a.m. is the culprit in the case. The car matched the one that witnesses say left the scene of the accident.

The teen who was hit in the incident remains in a local hospital and has been upgraded from critical to stable condition.

Police say the driver remains in custody and charges are pending.

Anyone who is facing the charge of DUI, particular in the case of a hit and run accident needs to have good legal advice in their corner.Read More

Sentence Passed in DUI Manslaughter Trial

second-timeA man has been sentenced to jail for his role in an accident that killed a pedestrian in 2013 while he was driving under the influence of alcohol.

Gregg R. Baratka, 38, of Brighton was sentenced by Common Pleas Judge Edward J. Borkowski of Allegheny County to a sentence between 8 and 23 months’ imprisonment with an additional four years’ probation.

According to court records, Baratka informed police that he was turning left in his pickup truck from Brighton Road onto Woods Run Avenue about 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17, 2013, when he heard his side-view mirror hit his window. Eyewitnesses to the incident informed Baratka that he had struck a pedestrian. Baratka immediately called 911 and waited for police to arrive at the scene of the accident.

The pedestrian that Baratka struck was James Lepinsky, 88, who died four days later as the result of blunt force trauma suffered when Baratka’s vehicle struck him.… Read More