Jeannette woman sentenced for DUI crash that injured man
A Jeannette woman will serve up to 23 months in jail for crashing her car into a parked car and leaving a seriously injured man behind.
Westmoreland County prosecutors said Elaine Decker, 39, was drunk when her car slammed into the passenger side door of Edward Chick's car as he unloaded groceries in front of his Wylie Street home on Jan. 15, 2011.
Chick, 57, was crushed between the car and the car door by the impact of the crash, according to police.
In August, Decker pleaded no contest to five charges, including aggravated assault while driving drunk and reckless endangerment.
Police said Decker drove away after the crash and was later taken into custody after she was surrounded at the intersection of Route 30 and Lowery Avenue by a fire truck and another motorist.
Assistant District Attorney Allen Powanda said Decker's blood-alcohol level after the crash was 0.25 percent, three times the limit a motorist in Pennsylvania is considered intoxicated.
In court on Tuesday, Decker's lawyer, L.A. Smith, asked that his client be sentenced to house arrest and not a jail term.
Powanda, though, said that Decker's actions and her previous record of a drunk driving arrest in 2006 warranted jail time.
“He could have been killed,” Powanda said. “Ms. Decker doesn't seem to comprehend she's doing anything wrong,” Powanda said.
Annette Chick told Westmoreland County Judge Debra Pezze that her father sustained substantial permanent injuries in the crash. Edward Chick suffered head, leg and spine injuries and still suffers from physical and cognitive disabilities, she said.
“I ask today for justice,” Chick said. “Take another person off the street who decided to drink beyond the limit.”
Pezze sentenced Decker to serve at least nine months in jail and an additional year on probation once she is released from custody.
“It's foolish for you to think you don't have a serious problem with alcohol,” Pezze said.
Decker will begin serving her jail sentence on Jan. 7.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Barges break loose on Monongahela in Duquesne
- Ex-Wash High star McKenzie charged by police, suspended by Virginia Tech
- Pirates notebook: Harrison’s day cut short by ankle injury
- Steeler lineman Adams sues 3 men acquitted in assault
- 11 Ligonier Township residents rescued by boat from floodwaters
- Elizabeth Township, McKeesport impacted by ice jam on Youghiogheny River
- Mexican cartel kingpin busted
- Sestak kicks off U.S. Senate campaign — with a couple missteps
- Blue Jays’ Martin has ‘nothing but praise’ for former Pirates teammates
- Penguins need trade-deadline acquisitions to bring toughness
- Court rules Steelers must pay Okobi workers comp