No. 532 Pittsburgh 1980, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Criminal, at No. CC 7806702A.
Louise Porac, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Dara A. DeCourcy, Assistant District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Spaeth,*fn1 Brosky and Montemuro, JJ. Brosky, J., concurs in the result.
[ 333 Pa. Super. Page 528]
This is an appeal from a judgment of sentence. The appellant, Girard Bellini, was tried in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County before the Honorable Henry R. Smith, Jr., and a jury. The appellant had been charged with violating 75 Pa.C.S. § 3742 (Accidents involving death or personal injury) and 75 Pa.C.S. § 3733 (Fleeing or attempting to elude police officer). The first charge, a misdemeanor, was submitted to the jury which returned a verdict of not guilty. The trial judge then dismissed the jury and found the appellant guilty of the second charge; which was
[ 333 Pa. Super. Page 529]
a summary offense. Post verdict motions were denied by the trial court and the appellant was fined twenty-five ($25.00) dollars and ten ($10.00) dollars costs. This appeal followed.
The appellant asserts that: the trial court erred in denying his demurrer; the verdict was against the weight of the evidence; the trial court erred in not submitting the summary offense to the jury;*fn2 and that the appellant cannot be guilty of eluding police when the officer in pursuit was in an unmarked vehicle in a jurisdiction other than his own.*fn3
The facts relevant to the present appeal are as follows. On November 18, 1978, at approximately 3:00 A.M., the appellant was proceeding west in the left hand lane of Connor Road, a four lane road in Mt. Lebanon. He was driving his father's vehicle, a 1975 Chevrolet Camaro. Another vehicle, driven by David J. Motor, was also proceeding west in the right hand lane when he suddenly swerved into the left lane and collided with appellant's vehicle. Motor's vehicle went out of control and struck a telephone pole -- severing the pole and bringing down high tension wires which landed on the vehicle. The accident occurred approximately two hundred (200) feet from the intersection of Connor Road and Route 19.
When the electrical wires cascaded down upon Motor's vehicle, sparks flared all over the highway and it was virtually impossible to approach. The entire scene was viewed by Upper St. Clair Police Officer Dan Bryson, who was stopped at a traffic light on Route 19 where it intersected Connor Road. Officer Bryson immediately radioed the Mt. Lebanon police ...