A Clearfield County man admitted on Thursday that he was driving while intoxicated when he caused an accident that killed his passenger in Armstrong County in September, 2011.
Richard Louis Sickeri, 44, of 398 Sabula Outing Club Road, DuBois, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony charge of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, the more severe of three counts against him.
Sickeri offered the plea at the start of his jury trial in Armstrong County Court yesterday morning.
Sickeri was behind the wheel of a Chevy pickup when he attempted to pass a tractor trailer while driving north along Route 66/28 south of Distant in Mahoning shortly after midnight on Sept. 3, 2011. His truck clipped the other truck's front end, veered off the road and crashed into trees.
Nicole Duttry, 35, of Duttry Road, Sabula, Clearfield County, was in the passenger seat and died of blunt force trauma to the head as a result of the crash.
Prosecutors said Sickeri had a blood alcohol content of .157 percent. The legal limit in Pennsylvania is .08 percent.
Armstrong County District Attorney Scott Andreassi told the court that the prosecution was prepared to prove that the defendant's alcohol consumption led directly to Duttry's death.
Andreassi said the other charges were homicide by vehicle and driving under the influence of alcohol. “He plead to the most serious charge,” said Andreassi.
Armstrong County President Judge Kenneth G. Valasek set a sentencing date for Jan. 27.
Sickeri faces a minimum of three years and up to 10 years in prison.
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