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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. RAYMOND R. HARTZELL (12/01/80)

filed: December 1, 1980.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
RAYMOND R. HARTZELL, APPELLANT



No. 1556 October Term, 1979 Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal, for the County of Northampton, at No. 2276, 1977

COUNSEL

Lawrence B. Fox, Bethlehem, for appellant.

John Gallagher, District Attorney, Easton, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Brosky, Wickersham and Roberts, JJ.*fn*

Author: Brosky

[ 282 Pa. Super. Page 551]

Appellant was convicted of homicide by vehicle*fn1 and the summary offense of failing to yield the right of way at a stop sign,*fn2 after an accident which resulted in the death of a passenger.

On November 16, 1977, appellant's automobile collided with a car operated by Betty Schaffer. Ada Eckert, a passenger in the Schaffer vehicle, died from injuries resulting from the accident.*fn3

Appellant was sentenced on May 30, 1979.

The sentence of the court is the defendant pay the costs of prosecution and undergo an imprisonment for a period of not less than one and one-half years and not more than three years. Credit for any time served in this instant offense and stand committed until this sentence is complied with. Defendant remanded to Northampton County Prison. Summary charge is dismissed.

Appellant asserts that the court improperly instructed the jury. The court refused to state that in order for the jury to find appellant guilty of homicide by vehicle, they must find his actions were either reckless or grossly negligent.*fn4 Hartzell says that his instruction is constitutionally required.

[ 282 Pa. Super. Page 552]

Under the 1977 Vehicle Code, homicide by vehicle ...


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