It’s looking like good work by authorities in northwest Pennsylvania. Back in July, a young Amish couple and their two children – a 1-year-old and an infant – were rear-ended in Crawford County. The driver was charged yesterday for the hit-and-run crash:
TITUSVILLE — A Spartansburg woman has been charged for a Sparta Township hit-and-run crash with a horse-drawn Amish buggy that seriously injured a young couple and their two children.
Lindsay Nicole Raines, 35, was arraigned Monday morning before Magisterial District Judge Amy Nicols in Titusville on multiple counts including four felony charges filed by Pennsylvania State Police.
Police accuse Raines of driving a sport utility vehicle that struck the buggy from behind on Canadohta Lake Road around 7:30 p.m. July 5 and then fleeing the scene.
It appears the driver’s identity has been known since July, but charges did not appear until later because the police and DA were being thorough with the investigation, which apparently included forensic analysis:
The charges against Raines were filed about four months following the crash.
“It took awhile as my office and the Pennsylvania State Police wanted to make sure there was a thorough investigation,” Crawford County District Attorney Francis Schultz told the Tribune on Monday. “We needed to receive the medical records of the injured and the nature of their injuries.”
Raines has been charged with four counts of accidents involving death or personal injury, two counts of aggravated assault by vehicle, and one count of accidents involving damage to attended vehicle or property,
Raines also has been charged with summary counts of failing to stop and give information, failing to notify police of accident, reckless driving, careless driving, following too closely, limitations on passing left, and restriction on alcoholic beverages.
I looked up the puzzling term “restriction on alcoholic beverages.” Here’s what I found in the PA legal code:
(a) General rule.–Except as set forth in subsection (b), an individual who is an operator or an occupant in a motor vehicle may not be in possession of an open alcoholic beverage container or consume a controlled substance as defined in the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), 1 known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, or an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle while the motor vehicle is located on a highway in this Commonwealth.
It sounds like there was an open container of beer or other beverage in the vehicle at the time.
Two of the counts in this case are felonies, which could involve up to seven years of jail time each.
I can’t find any update on the condition of the Amish family, other than the info that they were treated at area hospitals with injuries described as “serious” (another source suggested the buggy driver – I assume the father – actually escaped serious injury, though the other three did not). Hopefully “serious” does not mean “life-changing” for this young couple and their small children.
This year the state has seen at least one other hit-and-run, with an Amish victim being killed in Centre County in April.