The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

November 12, 2012

Coroner: Alcohol had role in fatal crash

Police roundup

Alcohol is believed to have played a role in the single-vehicle crash that claimed the life of a Cambria County man Sunday night.

The results of a blood test on Mark T. Bush, 45, of Dysart, showed his alcohol level was 0.19 percent, or more than twice the legal limit to operate a vehicle in Pennsylvania, Cambria County Chief Deputy Coroner Jeffrey Lees said Monday.

Bush was a corrections officer at State Correctional Institution-Cresson. He had lived in the Cresson area but recently moved to the Dysart area, Lees said.

Authorities said Bush was driving his 2008 Dodge Avenger west on Wopsononock Road at 9:25 p.m. when his car left the roadway as it was coming out of a slight curve. The vehicle struck several trees.

The driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown into the back seat. He had to be extricated by Ashville Volunteer Fire Company members and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lees listed the cause of death as multiple traumatic injuries due to blunt force trauma.

Charges filed in death

State police have charged a Westmoreland County man with involuntary manslaughter stemming from a crash in March that claimed a Ligonier Valley teen’s life.

Jonathan M. Rainey, 23, of Ligonier, also is charged with corruption of minors, recklessly endangering another person and selling or furnishing alcohol to minors, state police in Greensburg said.

The crash occurred March 31 on Route 711, about two miles south of Ligonier.

Jonathan Kristiansen, 17, died after his vehicle hit a tree. He was traveling at a high rate of speed, police said at the time.

The teen was thrown about 60 feet from the tree and died of blunt force head and neck trauma, investigators said.

The charges against Rainey were filed Thursday before District Judge Denise Thiel of Ligonier.

Driver injured in accident

A Lebanon County woman was injured in a one-car accident around 10:30 a.m. Monday on County Line Road in Middlecreek Township, Somerset County.

Emily Benach, 18, of Richland, was taken to Memorial Medical Center with a major injury, state police said.

Benach’s car went out of control while rounding a curve and left the roadway, police said.

Benach then overcorrected the steering, causing the car to travel across both lanes before striking a tree head-on, police said.

Hunter rescued from tree

State police based in Indiana responded Saturday evening to a distress call from a Johnstown hunter stuck in a tree in Brushvalley Township.

Police responded to a report at 5:50 p.m. from a resident near a wooded area off Old Mission Road. The resident told police he heard a man yelling for help from the woods.

Police also heard the cries for help and requested assistance from Brushvalley Volunteer Fire Company and Citizens Ambulance Service to conduct a search.

A hunter was found hanging upside-down from his tree stand. According to police, James Yoder, 63, fell out of the stand and was caught by his foot.

He was removed from the tree and transported to Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown for treatment.

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