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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. CALVIN MATHIAS LANG (02/27/81)

filed: February 27, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT,
v.
CALVIN MATHIAS LANG, JR. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA V. CALVIN MATHIAS LANG, JR., APPELLANT



No. 56 March Term, 1979, No. 70 March Term, 1979, Appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Adams County, Criminal Division, at No. CC-4-79

COUNSEL

Robert G. Teeter, Assistant District Attorney, Gettysburg, for Commonwealth, appellant in No. 56 and appellee in No. 70.

Spero T. Lappas, Harrisburg, for appellant in No. 70 and for appellee in No. 56.

Cercone, President Judge, and Watkins and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Cercone

[ 285 Pa. Super. Page 36]

The instant appeals come to us from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Adams County granting defendant Lang's motion to quash an information charging him with homicide by vehicle for the death of Officer James Redding of the New Oxford Borough Police Department, whose unhappy demise was allegedly occasioned by his pursuit of the defendant in an attempt to arrest him for failure to heed a stop sign, and for speeding.

The Commonwealth's Homicide by Vehicle Statute reads:

"Any person who unintentionally causes the death of another person while engaged in the violation of any law of this Commonwealth or municipal ordinance applying to the operation or use of a vehicle or to the regulation of traffic is guilty of homicide by vehicle, a misdemeanor of

[ 285 Pa. Super. Page 37]

    the first degree, when the violation is the cause of death." Act of 1976, June 17, P.L. 162, No. 81 § 1, eff. July 1, 1977. 75 Pa.C.S. § 3732.

The instant information reads:

"The District Attorney of Adams County, by this information charges that, on or about October 22, 1978, in said County of Adams, Calvin Mathais Lang, Jr. did, in Oxford Township, unlawfully and unintentionally cause the death of another person while engaged in the violation of any law of this Commonwealth or municipal ordinance applying to the operation or use of a vehicle or to the regulation of traffic, to wit: -- he did while operating a Harley Davidson Motor Cycle, Bearing Pennsylvania Registration # 8V125 violate Sections 3323, 3733 and 3361 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, where he did fail to drive at a safe speed, he did fail to stop at a stop sign and did flee and attempt to elude a police officer, said officer while in pursuit of defendant died as a result of an accident while attempting to stop the above defendant after he committed the violations; said officer James A. Redding, of the New Oxford Borough Police Department.

All of which is against the Act of Assembly and the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Lang moved to quash the information, which motion was granted by the order of March 12, 1979. These appeals followed.

Among his omnibus pretrial motions, Lang included three separate motions to quash the information.*fn1 Two of the motions to quash raised constitutional questions, while the third contended that the information failed to allege sufficient causation to sustain criminal liability. On February 16, 1979, the court held oral ...


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