June 21, 2018

Man gets up to ten years in fatal DUI crash

MILFORD – A New Tripoli, Pennsylvania, man was sentenced in the Pike County Court to 5-10 years in state prison for homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence and aggravated assault while driving under the influence.  James Stoss, 44, had pled guilty to the crimes. Visiting Wayne County Senior Judge Ray Hamill presided over the guilty pleas and sentencing.

The deadly crash occurred on September 7, 2014 on State Route 402 in Porter Township.  Stoss had been drinking at a hunting cabin and was driving on Route 402 when he drove his pickup truck entirely into the oncoming lane and crashed head on into a vehicle driven by David Bender, 38, who was accompanied by an 18-year-old male passenger.  Bender was killed. The passenger was severely injured but managed to climb out of a broken window before their vehicle was consumed in flames. 

Stoss was also injured from the crash and while being treated by several first responders, they smelled alcohol on his breath, which was later confirmed by blood alcohol testing showing his blood alcohol content to be .23% which is nearly three times the legal limit of .08%.

First Assistant District Attorney Bruce DeSarro, who prosecuted that case, said that the evidence from the crash scene showed the defendant was speeding as well as driving in the wrong lane and being intoxicated. 

After the sentencing, DeSarro said that hopefully other lives will be saved because of the appropriate and just punishment Judge Hamill gave to the Defendant by deterring others from drunk driving.

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