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RODGER I. DIAMOND v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (02/21/74)

decided: February 21, 1974.

RODGER I. DIAMOND, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, BUREAU OF TRAFFIC SAFETY, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of York County, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation, Bureau of Highway Safety, v. Rodger I. Diamond, No. 41 January Term, 1973.

COUNSEL

Peter J. Mangan, with him Griest & Mangan, for appellant.

John L. Heaton, Assistant Attorney General, with him Anthony J. Maiorana, Assistant Attorney General, Robert W. Cunliffe, Deputy Attorney General, and Israel Packel, Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr. and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Kramer.

Author: Kramer

[ 12 Pa. Commw. Page 261]

This is an appeal filed by Rodger I. Diamond (Diamond) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of York County, dated April 24, 1973, dismissing Diamond's appeal from the suspension of his motor vehicle operator's license by the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) for a period of two months.

The pertinent facts are that at about 2:00 A.M. on December 19, 1971, Diamond, while driving to his home, swerved off the roadway and struck two mail boxes. The scene of the accident was approximately one block from the nearest police station, and approximately 400 yards from his home. He stopped his car, and observed one mail box damaged and broken from its cement foundation. He then proceeded to his home. Within a matter of minutes, the police received a report of the accident and investigated. The police observed a trail

[ 12 Pa. Commw. Page 262]

    of mail on the roadway, which ended at a point "just before" Diamond's driveway. The police officers, upon investigation, discovered that one of the mail boxes which had been hit was still lodged under Diamond's automobile. The police officers thereupon immediately interrogated Diamond, who admitted that he had knowledge of having struck "something" at the scene of the accident. Diamond admitted that when he arrived home he noticed damage to his right rear wheel and the hood of his automobile, but he had not noticed the mail box lodged beneath his car. Diamond was thereupon apprehended and charged with a violation of Section 1027(d) of The Vehicle Code, Act of April 29, 1959, P.L. 58, as amended, 75 P.S. ยง 1027(d), which in pertinent part reads as follows: "The operator of any vehicle . . . which is involved in an accident with any . . . property which is unattended, shall immediately stop, and shall then and there either locate and notify the . . . owner or custodian of such unattended property, of the name and address of the operator and owner of the vehicle involved in such accident with the unattended . . . property, or shall leave in a conspicuous place, in or upon the unattended . . . property, a written notice, giving the name and address of the operator, and of the owner of the vehicle involved in such accident, and a statement of the circumstances thereof, and also shall, within twenty-four (24) hours forward to the department a similar notice regardless of the amount of the damage done to such unattended . . . property."

A hearing was held before a justice of the peace, after which Diamond was found guilty of said violation. No appeal was taken from that conviction.

As a result of this conviction, Diamond was notified by the Secretary that his operating privileges were suspended for a period of two months. Diamond appealed to the court below (his license was restored by a supersedeas), and after a de novo hearing held on April 24,

[ 12 Pa. Commw. Page 2631973]

, the court below dismissed the appeal. Diamond has appealed to this Court ...


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