Driver sentenced to jail for East Deer crash
A Wilmerding man will spend five to 10 years in prison for a hit-and-run accident that cost an East Deer woman her leg, an Allegheny County judge ruled Wednesday.
Freddie Knight, 40, pleaded guilty in December to causing an accident involving death or serious injury, resisting arrest and related charges for the Feb. 3, 2012 accident in which he struck Tammy Roberts, 48, outside the Creighton Hotel in East Deer.
“I apologize for the accident,” Knight told Judge Edward J. Borkowski, who also sentenced him to two years of probation and ordered him to pay $11,000 in restitution.
Roberts, whose right leg was amputated as a result of the accident, said the restitution was important to her.
But she also asked Borkowski to give Knight a stiff sentence.
“Realistically, I don't think I'll ever see that money,” Roberts said. “I know he's sorry, but you know what? He ruined my life for a while. I was a working woman. I can't even do that. I can't even go to work anymore because of his stupidity.”
Prosecutors said Knight struck Roberts with his 1990 purple Ford Mustang about 10 p.m. as she and her boyfriend, Pete Gearhart, were leaving the restaurant.
Police spotted Knight's car on Route 908 at Howes Run Road about an hour later and Knight led police on a chase at speeds reaching 70 mph to 80 mph on Route 908.
His car skidded out of control and he fled into the woods. Police chased Knight on foot for several hundred yards before they found him hiding in some brush.
An officer used a Taser on Knight when he refused to put his hands up.
Knight claimed the wreck was caused when a truck hit him from behind.
Knight's attorney, Owen Seman, said his client is a “very talented mechanic,” but the only way he could pay Roberts back is if he works.
“The injury here is substantial. It's devastating,” Seman said. “However, it was an accident.”
Seman said Knight wants to “put his life back on track” for the three children Knight and his fiancee support.
He asked the judge sentence Knight to spend 11 1⁄2 to 23 months on house arrest or in alternative housing.
Borkowski said Knight's criminal history — he spent time in jail for a burglary in 1992 and in 2003 on a firearms conviction — “failed to impress upon him the need to conform to the laws of society.”
Roberts said Wednesday's sentence “closes this door and hopefully it opens another door to something good.”
“I can't say I forgive him, but I hope he does get help. I think he needs it,” Roberts said of Knight.
“I will walk again,” Roberts said. “Things take time. I've got a lot of time these days.”
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 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.
- Child pornography videos tied to Winfield man
- Mt. St. Peter draws crowds with 34th annual Festa Italiana
- ATI reveals details of contract offer to steelworkers union
- South Butler superintendent heads home for Mohawk job
- USW rallies in support of ATI, other steel companies’ employees
- Winfield supervisors OK natural gas-drilling regulations
- Avonmore mayor to resign after being charged with theft
- Judge lets New Kensington Ten Commandments monument stand
- HBO to end ‘Banshee’ series, disappointing Vandergrift
- Multiple delays to slow travel between Alle-Kiski Valley, Greensburg
- Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley offers free services at clinic