Driver in wreck that killed Latrobe teen was drinking, speeding, police say
The 20-year-old driver of a car that crashed in Linn Run State Park, killing a Greater Latrobe Area High School sophomore, was under the influence of alcohol and driving too fast, state police in Greensburg said Friday.
Ryan N. Pape of 746 Lemington St., Greensburg, was arraigned Friday on multiple criminal charges, including homicide by vehicle and driving under the influence of alcohol, filed by state police.
Sarah J. David, 15, of Second Street, Latrobe, a passenger in Pape's 2004 Chrysler Concorde, was pronounced dead at the scene of the April crash along Linn Run Road in Cook Township. Two other teenage passengers, who have not been identified, were injured, police said.
State police Trooper John Fritz reported that a blood test taken at Conemaugh Memorial Hospital in Johnstown showed Pape had a blood-alcohol level of .129 percent two hours after the crash.
In Pennsylvania, anyone under 21 with a reading of .02 percent or more is considered legally drunk. The adult DUI level is .08 percent.
Pape admitted to witnesses at the scene that he had been drinking, according to court documents filed by police.
Police reported Pape's vehicle was traveling south, descending Laurel Mountain on the winding, rural roadway, when he lost control.
The vehicle struck two trees and a utility pole before becoming airborne, overturning and striking four more trees before coming to rest on its roof, police said.
Police said David was found in the back seat of the car. The coroner's office ruled David's cause of death as blunt-force injuries to the head, chest and abdomen.
She was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, police said.
Pape, his face bloodied, was found standing outside the car after the crash, police said.
A memorial for David, who was described by classmates and school adminstrators as friendly and “very well-liked,” has been erected at the crash scene.
David was interested in digital media and divided her time between the high school and the Eastern Westmoreland Career & Technology Center.
“She was an extremely talented photographer and excelled in the digital media technology program,” said Todd Weimer, principal at the career and technology center in Derry Township.
Pape could not be reached yesterday for comment.
He was released on $20,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing July 1 before Ligonier District Judge Denise Snyder Thiel.
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.
- Hempfield train crash search called off; no evidence found
- Online donors help Hempfield teen whose wallet was stolen
- Westmoreland used car dealers indicted in fraud
- Numerous Westmoreland communities to observe Memorial Day
- Westmoreland County Blind Association building brimming with activity
- ‘Dope sick’ man in custody in Mt. Pleasant stick-up
- Man killed after car leaves Route 819, veers through East Huntington parking lot
- Sewickley Township agrees to lease for land for playground
- Travel restrictions to be lifted on Route 30 in Hempfield
- Arnold man could get resisting arrest charge dismissed
- Greensburg, Youngwood pools opening for the season May 30