Police: SUV ran light before fatal Penn Hills chase
When Kayla Hoffman ran a red light in Penn Hills on Saturday afternoon, she was on probation in two counties, had drugs in her sport utility vehicle and didn't have a valid driver's license, police said Monday.
When an officer attempted to pull her over, police said Hoffman, 28, of New Kensington sped off and almost immediately plowed head-on into a car driven by Kayla Johnson-Ukeyne, 25, of Penn Hills, killing her less than a half-mile from her home.
Allegheny County police Sgt. Scott Scherer said yesterday that Hoffman, who was paroled from jail in December, likely will be charged with homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment, fleeing and eluding, drug possession and driving with a suspended license stemming from the crash on Verona Road near the Sandy Creek Road intersection.
An attorney for Hoffman could not be reached. People at Johnson-Ukeyne's home declined to comment yesterday.
"I looked in the rearview mirror and I saw police lights. I pulled over but (Hoffman) almost hit me," said Shelley Mitchell of Verona, who was driving on Verona Road when the pursuit went by her. "I started driving again and all I saw was white smoke.
"Then I saw the young lady dead," Mitchell said, choking up. "Just to see that — she was dead — just the way the car was smashed and she was in it. It was so sad. I've been praying and thinking about her family."
Hoffman remained hospitalized with a broken ankle and pelvis. Scherer said she was in possession of a minor amount of unspecified drugs, and police were investigating whether drugs were a factor in the crash.
A passenger in Hoffman's sport utility vehicle, Tomarro Wade, 42, of New Kensington, suffered head injuries in the crash. A family member said she was sore but out of the hospital.
Court records show Hoffman has dozens of convictions stemming from at least 15 cases in Westmoreland and Allegheny counties. Her record in Westmoreland County stretches back to 2005 and includes several drug arrests. Common Pleas Judge John Blahovec sentenced her in April to 11 1⁄2 to 23 months in jail after she pleaded guilty to three drug-related charges. He paroled her Dec. 21, court records show.
She pleaded guilty in July to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and driving without a license. Her sentence did not add any time to her jail stay.
In September, she pleaded guilty in Allegheny County to promoting prostitution and was sentenced to two to four months in jail. In April, she was sentenced to three to six months in jail and 18 months of probation for her guilty plea to five charges, including possession of drug paraphernalia. Her sentence did not add any time to her jail stay.
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.
- Steelers kicker Boswell puts best foot forward
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin not grooming successor to RB Williams
- Penn State football coach Franklin renews his plea for patience
- Former Mountaineer Bailey shot in head in Miami
- Putin sends air defense missiles to Syria to deter Turkey
- North Shore parking garage plan moves forward in Pittsburgh
- Cecil fire crews respond to 3 calls in 12 hours
- Occupying playoff spot on Thanksgiving good harbinger for Penguins
- Hempfield man fights off intruders
- H&M to open in Westmoreland Mall
- 2nd command officer at Allegheny County Jail punished