DuBois man waives right to hearing in homicide crash

| Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012

A Clearfield County man accused of vehicular homicide in the death of his passenger in a September crash along Route 66/28 in Mahoning Township waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Thursday.

Richard Louis Sickeri, 43, of Sabula Outing Club Road, DuBois, appeared before District Judge Samuel R. Goldstrohm in Rural Valley on charges stemming from the death of Nicole L. Duttry, 35. Court documents do not list her hometown.

Sickeri faces two felony charges of homicide by a vehicle while driving under the influence and homicide by a vehicle, as well as three related misdemeanor charges. Sickeri also faces a summary charge of reckless driving.

According to the police criminal complaint, New Bethlehem police officer Josh Riggle responded to a 911 report of an overturned vehicle with injuries on Route 66/28, south of the Distant ice cream store, Sweet Delights, on Sept. 3 at around 12:19 a.m.

Riggle reported that when he arrived the Distant Fire Department was on the scene and that Sickeri approached him and said he was the driver of the red Chevrolet truck which was off the road and in the trees. Riggle said Sickeri told him that he had lost control of his vehicle when he swerved to miss a number of deer that had run out in front of him.

According to Riggle, Sickeri smelled of alcohol. Sickeri told Riggle he had had a couple of drinks and was driving back from Brookville with a girl.

At that point, Riggle said, he was called over to the vehicle by Ian Hollobough, an emergency medical technician, and firefighter Bryan Shoemaker.

Duttry was on the ground, said Riggle. Hollobough and Shoemaker told him she was deceased.

Armstrong County Deputy Coroner Brian Myers, who arrived at the scene, ruled that Duttry's death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head.

In the report, Riggle noted that a blue open cooler was on the floor of the passenger side of the truck. Two beer bottles were Inside the cooler -- one full bottle of Bud Light and one empty. Another empty Bud Light bottle lay on the ground by the driver's side of the truck, said Riggle.

Sickeri was transported to Clarion Hospital where, according to the affidavit, his blood alcohol content was found to be .157 percent. The legal limit in Pennsylvania is .08 percent.

Terry Vanwormer -- whose address was not listed on court papers -- told police he had been driving north on Route 66/28 when a red truck had tried to pass him on his left. The truck swerved, hit his front left wheel well and crossed to the right side of the road into the trees. Vanwormer told police there were no deer on the roadway at the time of the incident. After he pulled off the road, Vanwormer told police, he saw Sickeri push Duttry against the door and tried to put the vehicle in reverse in an attempt to back the truck out of the trees.

Sickeri was released on a $25,000 bond.

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