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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. CATHERINE GOTTO (11/19/82)

filed: November 19, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
CATHERINE GOTTO, APPELLANT



No. 1141 October Term, 1979, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, Criminal Division, at No. 2174 of 1977

COUNSEL

Robert C. Brown, Jr., Easton, for appellant.

John E. Gallagher, District Attorney, Easton, did not file a brief on behalf of Commonwealth, appellee.

Spaeth, Brosky and Van der Voort, JJ. Spaeth, J., concurs in result.

Author: Brosky

[ 306 Pa. Super. Page 437]

Appellant, Catherine C. Gotto, was convicted of homicide by vehicle*fn1 and driving while under the influence of alcohol,*fn2

[ 306 Pa. Super. Page 438]

    by a jury, on April 26, 1978.*fn3 She was convicted also of the summary offense of "Meeting of Vehicles Proceeding in Opposite Direction"*fn4 by the court on May 15, 1978. Post-verdict motions were denied. On May 2, 1979, Gotto was sentenced to serve one year imprisonment. This appeal followed. We affirm the decision of the trial court.

The following issues are raised in this appeal:

1. The homicide by vehicle statute is unconstitutional.

2. The homicide by vehicle statute is contrary to common law.

3. The summary conviction is a nullity.

4. That blood-alcohol test results obtained by the Commonwealth were inadmissible.

5. That statements made to the police shortly following the accident were inadmissible.

6. That cross-examination was wrongfully limited.

7. That photographic evidence concerning the accident scene was relevant and should have been admitted.

8. That requested points for charge should have been read.

9. That the court's charge invaded the province of the jury.

We will address the issues in the order which they have been presented us.

This case has arisen out of the following circumstances. Gotto was involved in a three-car accident in Bushkill Township, Northampton County, on October 14, 1977 at 11:20 p.m. At the time of the accident it was raining. Gotto testified that she lost control of her car because a truck driven by Brooks Engler had crossed the center line in the approaching traffic. Gotto then lost control, drove in the opposite lane, ...


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