Punxsutawney man pleads guilty in 2011 fatal crash
A 21-year-old Punxsutawney man charged in a 2011 one-car crash that killed three teens pleaded guilty Friday to three felony counts of vehicular homicide.
Blair E. Smith also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of a minor driving under the influence of alcohol. Armstrong County President Judge Kenneth Valasek presided over the case.
Smith faces a maximum combined sentence of 21 years in prison and $45,000 in fines in the crash that killed passengers Sean McConnaughey, 18, Dylan Behrendt and Joel Riggleman, both 19. All three were from Punxsutawney.
However, it will be up to the court to determine whether he will end up serving less time in exchange for his plea.
“The victims' families will have input, as will the defendant at the time of sentencing,” District Attorney Scott Andreassi said.
Court records show that Smith, who was 19 at the time of the crash, had a blood alcohol level of 0.0344 percent when he lost control of his 1996 Eagle Talon while speeding on Route 839 in Wayne on the night of Nov. 11. A blood-alcohol level of 0.02 percent is considered drunken driving for minors. Smith and his passengers were ejected from the car in the crash. Smith is to be sentenced on April 11.
Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
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.
- Crash leaves Burrell Township family without father, friend
- Teachers at 2 Armstrong schools go casual for a cause
- Armstrong man dies in single-vehicle crash
- Armstrong County Jail commitments since Dec. 13
- Family escapes house fire in Kittanning
- Ford City looks for bigger hall to house crowd at council meetings
- South Buffalo church nears end of more than a century of worship
- Kittanning, Kiski police getting trained to help abuse victims
- Students perform Christmas program at Kittanning health center
- Officials get early start on NuMine bridge replacement planning
- House fire quickly snuffed in Ford City