Monroeville man gets up to 2 years in prison in motorcyclist's death
Fremont Mathias Jr. had several opportunities to do the right thing after fatally striking a motorcyclist with his Ford F-150 pickup truck, an Allegheny County prosecutor told a judge on Thursday.
Mathias, 33, of Monroeville could have gotten out of the truck and called 911. He could have told a passer-by the truth about what happened, and he could have taken responsibility when police knocked on his door to question him about the death of Lawrence Matvey, 69, on Hochberg Road in Monroeville on June 30.
Instead, Assistant District Attorney Chelsea Pratt said, Mathias did not call 911, told the passer-by that he was out walking his dog when the accident occurred and, when he got home, asked his mom to take the rap.
Ultimately, his wife called police to tell them that she was behind the wheel. Mathias' license had been suspended four months earlier.
“He didn't accept responsibility that day, and it wasn't just one irresponsible action,” Pratt said. “It was one after another after another.”
Common Pleas Judge Philip A. Ignelzi sentenced Mathias, who pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle in March, to one to two years in prison and ordered him to pay $3,750 in fines.
“First and foremost, I want to apologize to the Matvey family for their loss,” Mathias told the court. “I know I'm guilty. I'm fully prepared and fully accepting that whatever punishment you give me is going to be fair.”
Several members of Matvey's family, including his brother Richard and son Michael, appeared in court. In a letter to the judge, the family expressed grief.
“Larry was killed so close to home that we are reminded of our loss every day. He died for no apparent reason and no fault of his own.”
Mathias' mother told the court that her grandsons need their father.
“That split-second of unintentional misjudgment also took my son away from his family and friends. Yes, he is alive in a physical sense, but the horror of that day has taken away his soul,” she said.
A letter from Mathias' mother-in-law, read aloud by another family member, attempted to deflect some of the blame.
“Motorcycles are dangerous vehicles, offering practically no protection in the event of a collision. At least some of the culpability should be taken up on the person who chose to drive a vehicle that can withstand absolutely no impact from a collision,” she wrote.
After sentencing Mathias, Ignelzi sentenced his wife, Heather Mathias, 32, to one year of probation for pleading guilty to hindering her husband's apprehension.
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.
- Scots reject independence from United Kingdom in historic vote
- Rossi: The series that will define these Pirates
- It’s not a small world after all: Global population estimated to soar
- Steelers’ Timmons looks to reverse defense’s struggles
- Google grants teachers’ school supply wishes
- Sutersville principal’s comments taken out of context, district claims
- 2 New Kensington buildings burn downtown
- Crosby, Malkin to miss start of Penguins camp
- Pirates hold on to beat Red Sox, complete 3-game sweep at PNC
- Steelers’ Polamalu relying on smarts as physical skills decline
- Pitt star running back Conner adjusting to higher profile this year