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Homicide by vehicle charges filed against New Kensington woman

| Thursday, March 8, 2012

A New Kensington woman with a long criminal history will face charges of homicide by vehicle and involuntary manslaughter stemming from a fatal accident police say she caused while fleeing a traffic stop.

Kayla Dawn Hoffman, 28, no specific address, was charged Wednesday with at least 10 offenses arising out of the chase and crash along Verona Road in Penn Hills on Feb. 18. In addition to the manslaughter and homicide by vehicle charges, Hoffman also is charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle, drunken driving, fleeing police, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, drug possession and various traffic violations.

She was taken to the Allegheny County Jail on a probation violation because police say they found heroin and crack cocaine in the vehicle she was driving.

According to police, Penn Hills police observed a vehicle being driven by Hoffman going the wrong way and drive erratically along Robinson Boulevard in Penn Hills. When police tried to pull the vehicle over, they say Hoffman tried to flee, leading police on a chase down Verona Road.

During the chase, Hoffman's vehicle collided head-on with a car driven by Kayla Johnson-Ukeyne, 25, of Penn Hills. Johnson-Ukeyne was killed.

A passenger in Hoffman's vehicle, Tomarrow Wade, 42, of New Kensington was treated for head injuries and released from the hospital. Police say Wade is not charged.

Hoffman suffered a broken ankle and pelvis and was jailed upon her release from a hospital.

Police say the Ford Explorer that Hoffman was driving is registered to a Kiski Township woman. Police say the vehicle's owner is not facing charges.

Court records show Hoffman has been arrested more than a dozen times in three counties since 2005.

Some of her criminal convictions include drug possession, intent to distribute or manufacture drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest, prostitution, theft, unauthorized use of a vehicle, receiving stolen property, giving police a false identity, conspiracy, loitering and disorderly conduct.

Her most recent jail sentences include two to four months for prostitution in Plum and as long as 23 months for drug possession with the intent to deliver in Arnold, both last year.

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