http://www.boston.com/news/nation/artic ... _fined_25/
Yeah, that all sounds about right :roll:Officer in fatal Pa. crash fined $25
By Michael Rubinkam, Associated Press Writer | September 26, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. --An Allentown police officer who caused a crash that killed a 4-year-old pedestrian and outraged the community will be cited for running a red light, but he won't be charged in the boy's death, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Officer Brett Guth's failure to heed the light amounted to ordinary negligence and did not warrant more serious charges, such as involuntary manslaughter or homicide by vehicle, Lehigh County prosecutor James Martin said at a news conference. The summary citation of running a red light carries a $25 fine, plus court costs.
"This was a tragic accident which resulted in great loss. However, I am convinced that it was exactly that: a tragic accident," Martin said.
Guth, 31, and another officer were responding to a report of a man with a gun when their cruisers collided at a downtown intersection May 30, killing Daviay Legrand and seriously injuring his mother's boyfriend. A state police investigation concluded that Guth, a rookie, ran a red light and caused the crash.
Guth was going 31 mph, and the other officer was driving at 21 mph, Martin said.
Daviay's relatives, who attended the news conference at the state police barracks in Bethlehem, expressed outrage that Guth would not face more serious charges.
"I knew in my heart from the day that they killed my grandbaby" that Guth would not be charged in the child's death, said his grandmother, Sharon Peoples. "Justice is to own up to what you did, how you did it, and that's enough for me."
A telephone number for Guth would not accept calls Wednesday evening.
The impact pushed a cruiser driven by Officer John Buckwalter onto the sidewalk, pinning Daviay and his mother's boyfriend, Jason Marcella, against a wall. Marcella's legs were shattered.
Daviay's great-grandmother, Ruby Peoples, said she believed the officers were going faster than the investigation indicated to have caused such a violent collision.
"If they're after a suspect, they're not going to go that slow," she said. "It's an out-and-out lie. ... Look at the way (Daviay) was mangled. From 31 mph? Come on, be for real."
Guth had glanced down at a computer to verify the address to which he was driving and failed to notice the red light soon enough to avoid a collision, said State Police Capt. Steven Johnson.
Hours after the crash, furious residents massed at the scene and threw bottles and rocks at police. Sharon Peoples appealed for calm Wednesday but said that residents will have their say.
"People have the right to voice their opinion," she said. "The same way they're taking this $25 (from Guth) with a slap, then I guess they have to take what the people of Allentown have to give them."
No unrest related to the citation was reported Wednesday evening.
Guth had been fined for speeding four times before joining the police force in April 2006, according to court records obtained by The Morning Call of Allentown. He was fined for going 104 mph on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in one case and was found asleep in his car in another case that led to a drunken driving arrest, the paper said.
Guth was assigned to desk duty pending the results of an internal investigation. That probe should wrap up within the week, Police Chief Roger McClean said Wednesday.