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