Trial set to begin for motorist accused of killing East Huntingdon pedestrian |

Trial set to begin for motorist accused of killing East Huntingdon pedestrian

Rich Cholodofsky

Opening statements and testimony will begin Wednesday in the third-degree murder trial of a New Stanton motorist charged with being under the influence of drugs when he hit and killed a pedestrian walking his dog on Christmas Eve 2016.

Jurors were seated Tuesday in the case against Matthew Ramsay, 31, who prosecutors contend deliberately swerved his vehicle while driving along Ruffsdale Alverton Road in East Huntingdon.

Joseph Cummins, 49, of East Huntingdon, was hit from behind as he walked his dog on the side of the road, police said. He died from injuries he suffered in the crash. Police said Ramsay fled the scene and attempted to hide his vehicle before he eventually was identified and confessed to being involved in the fatal crash, although he contended he didn’t realize he had hit a pedestrian.

Ramsay was charged with third-degree murder, vehicular homicide and other offenses after tests revealed he had methadone, Xanax and marijuana in his system at the time of the crash. Police said Ramsay admitted to having received a dose of methadone, used to treat heroin addiction, and although he was warned against using other medications at the same time, took the other drugs before driving.

Ramsay could face up to 40 years in prison if he is convicted of the murder count.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.