No. 1245 October Term, 1979, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Delaware County at No. 79-14200.
George Martin, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Michael L. Murphy, Media, for Mattiace, appellee.
Andrew Forbes, Media, for Gillespie, appellee.
Spaeth, Cavanaugh and O'Kicki, JJ.*fn*
[ 284 Pa. Super. Page 275]
The dispute in this case centers around a two-vehicle accident which occurred on the evening of October 25, 1976. The appellant, Anna Mazza, was a passenger in the car driven by Carl Mattiace, appellee. John Gillespie, also an appellee, was the driver of the other vehicle. Mrs. Mazza, who was injured in the accident, filed suit against both drivers.
Undisputed testimony indicated the following facts: Mattiace and appellant were traveling westward on West Chester Pike, Newtown Township, Delaware County, toward the Drexel Lodge. Mattiace missed the crossover to the Drexel Lodge and stopped his car. He then proceeded to place his
[ 284 Pa. Super. Page 276]
car in reverse, back up, cross the two westerly lanes and drive through the crossover leading to the driveway of the Drexel Lodge. Meanwhile the Gillespie vehicle was heading eastward. The cars collided as Mattiace was attempting to cross the eastbound section of the highway. The impact to the Gillespie vehicle was to the front. The impact to the Mattiace vehicle was to the passenger side in the vicinity of the door.
In presenting her evidence, Mrs. Mazza testified first. She remembered the car backing up on the highway and commencing the left turn, but did not remember the actual impact. She testified on cross examination that it was drizzling and foggy that night in the area where the accident occurred. Appellee Gillespie, called on cross examination, stated that he had no recollection of the accident (Mr. Gillespie suffered head injuries as a result of the accident.) Appellant called Officer Welch of the Newtown Police Department who testified that both cars came to rest on the eastbound section of the highway. He also stated that visibility was clear for three-tenths of a mile in both an easterly and westerly direction, and that the road was dry. He found no skid marks in the eastbound lanes. He ascertained that the Gillespie vehicle came to rest approximately sixty to seventy feet east of the driveway to the Drexel Lodge; and that the Mattiace vehicle was partially on the medial strip and partially in the eastbound section of the highway on an angle. At the time of the accident Mattiace told Officer Welch that he did not see the Gillespie vehicle prior to the collision. At the close of plaintiff's case, the lower court granted a compulsory non-suit as to John Gillespie.
During the presentation of his case defendant Mattiace testified that he was hit by the Gillespie vehicle as he was turning onto the eastbound section of the highway. He did not stop before turning into the eastbound lane even though the medial strip was wide enough to permit his car to stop and be out of the lanes of traffic. ...