Latrobe driver pleads guilty in head-on crash that killed Monroeville brewery executive
A Latrobe man pleaded guilty Tuesday to causing a fatal car crash more than three years ago in Derry Township that killed a brewery executive.
During a hearing before Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Feliciani, the lawyer for Lucas Leitza, 23, said there was no explanation for why he drove his pickup into oncoming traffic in the early morning hours of Sept. 19, 2014.
“He doesn't have any recollection of it. It was 5 a.m., and he was going to work,” attorney Mike Ferguson said. “He suffered catastrophic injuries himself. This was a tragedy all the way around. Why he crossed the road, we just don't know.”
Leitza was ordered to serve five years' probation, including 18 months of house arrest. Feliciani said Leitza can seek to have his probation term shortened after three years.
Police said Leitza was speeding as he drove a 1999 Chevrolet C2500 pickup on Route 981 in Derry, crossed the center line and struck head-on a Subaru Legacy driven by 62-year-old Frederick Drummond, who died of blunt-force injuries. Drummond was driving 31 mph in the 55 mph zone, police said.
Drummond, of Monroeville, worked as an operations manager at City Brewing Co. in Latrobe.
“I apologize for what happened. I didn't mean for any of this to happen, and I am very sorry it happened,” Leitza said.
Prosecutors dismissed three related summary traffic offenses against Leitza.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.