No apology from Greensburg driver in DUI death
Nearly a year after a car driven by an underaged drinker skidded off a secluded road in Cook, the family of the 15-year-old girl killed in the crash said they still haven't gotten an apology.
“He stood up there (in court) and had no remorse, and that's hard to take. He couldn't even say, ‘I'm sorry,' ” said Joyce Piper, the mother of Sarah David, the Greater Latrobe High School sophomore killed in the April 10 crash in Linn Run State Park.
The driver of the car, 21-year-old Ryan Pape of Greensburg, pleaded guilty on Monday to charges of vehicular homicide while driving drunk, drunken driving and other offenses for causing the crash.
Westmoreland County Judge Rita Hathaway sentenced Pape to a mandatory sentence of three to six years in prison. Pape, who had no prior criminal record, refused Hathaway's request to address David's family during the hearing.
Pape's defense lawyer, Corey Riddell, said outside the courtroom that his client was remorseful for his actions.
“He wishes he could take it back. It was a bad decision that led to a horrible, horrible result,” Riddell said.
Pape also pleaded guilty to two counts of simple assault in connection with injuries suffered by his two other teenage passengers.
According to court records, Pape was drunk at the time of the crash. His blood alcohol content was 0.129 percent, or six times the limit at which an underaged driver is considered to be intoxicated. Drivers younger than 21 are considered to be drunk with a blood alcohol content above 0.02 percent. The limit for adult drivers is 0.08 percent.
Police said Pape lost control of his vehicle as it descended Laurel Mountain on a winding, rural roadway. The vehicle struck two trees and a utility pole, went airborne, overturned and hit four more trees before it came to rest on its roof.
David rode in the back seat and did not wear a seat belt, police said. She died from blunt-force injuries to her head, chest and abdomen.
John David said Monday that their daughter did not know Pape well and that she was friends with another passenger in the vehicle.
“This is something that I could never imagine,” John David testified. “I can't even imagine losing a daughter that way.”
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.
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.
- Unity lawyer to vie for Westmoreland County judgeship
- $7.6M buyout at Hempfield prison site clouds sale
- Latrobe police to form DUI task force
- Excela center proposal worries residents of Hempfield neighborhood
- Court in the Classroom program provides insight for Norwin High School students
- Sale of former SCI Greensburg prison to advance despite lawmakers’ objections
- Baby sitter arraigned on assault charges; Hempfield woman high on heroin, state police say
- Mt. Pleasant Business District Authority picks officers
- Police claim woman stabbed husband at their Jeannette business
- Jeannette teen, charged with killing another, took ‘selfie’ with body, court papers say
- Southwest Greensburg chef moves from restaurant into W.Pa. schools