Saltsburg man sentenced for homicide by vehicle
A Saltsburg man was ordered to report to jail on March 24 to begin serving a three- to six-year sentence for killing his friend in a car crash nearly two years ago.
Clifford Porterfield, 56, was sentenced on Monday on his conviction in November of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence.
During a nonjury trial, prosecutors said Porterfield was drunk on May 13, 2011, when he crashed his sport-utility vehicle in Loyalhanna Township.
Ronald Puzak, 43, of Saltsburg died from injuries he suffered in the crash.
Police said Porterfield lost control of his vehicle, which skidded across the road, scraped a guide rail and went airborne for about 20 feet before it hit a tree.
Puzak died from blunt-force trauma to his abdomen.
During the trial before Westmoreland County Judge John Blahovec, prosecutors said Porterfield had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 percent, nearly twice the limit a motorist is considered to be intoxicated in Pennsylvania, 0.08 percent.
Porterfield testified that Puzak, who was seated in the passenger's seat, caused the crash when he shoved the driver. Porterfield claimed the two fought because he learned Puzak had tried to quit his job earlier that day.
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.
- Harhai campaign emails from 2007 under review, Westmoreland County DA says
- 1 dead, 1 injured in Derry Twp. crash
- Latrobe school directors won’t forgive bill for WCCC land
- Latrobe group cancels raffle, seeks ticket holders for refunds
- Energy company responsible for polluting Donegal well appeals state’s finding
- Stewartsville principal’s comments taken out of context, district claims
- Woman charged with assault spree in Jeannette
- 2 suspects charged with second robbery in Hempfield
- Southmoreland student injured in school assault
- Southmoreland High School junior’s broken jaw ‘could have been avoided’
- Police investigate Hempfield fight