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Fayette County man drove 117 mph seconds before fatal crash, troopers say | TribLIVE.com
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Fayette County man drove 117 mph seconds before fatal crash, troopers say

Paul Peirce
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A Fayette County man was driving 117 mph seconds before his car slammed into another vehicle, killing a Smock couple and injuring two others the night of Sept. 20 along Route 51 in Franklin Township, state police allege.

Tristian M. Lukehart, 21, of Fairchance was arraigned Wednesday on a number of charges, including homicide by vehicle. He was ordered to be held in the county jail on $50,000 bail.

Killed in the crash were Gerome Garbutt, 45, and his wife, Jacklyn Garbutt, 36. Court documents filed by state police in Belle Vernon indicated the Garbutts likely died on impact.

Two passengers in Lukehart’s 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt were seriously injured, according to state police.

Trooper Steven Law reported in court documents that Lukehart “T-boned” the Garbutts’ vehicle as they slowed on Route 51 and turned onto Smock Road.

“(A)pproximately five seconds prior to the crash, Lukehart was traveling upwards of 117 miles per hour and impacted the other vehicle at 94 miles per hour,” Law reported the accident investigation and reconstruction revealed.

A forensic blood analysis on Lukehart also disclosed he was under the influence of marijuana, Law said.

Lukehart is charged with multiple counts of homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol, involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment and a single count of driving under the influence of a controlled substance. He also is charged with multiple traffic violations including driving 62 mph over the posted 55-mph speed limit.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled Wednesday.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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