Appeal from the Order entered July 13, 1988 in the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, Criminal Division, at No. 896 of 1986.
Jon S. Pushinsky, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Ahmed Aziz, Asst. Dist. Atty., Aliquippa, for Com., appellee.
Wieand, Del Sole and Melinson, JJ. Wieand, J., concurs in the result.
[ 387 Pa. Super. Page 380]
This appeal is from an order denying Appellant, Franklin Triplett's, PCHA petition. After a non-jury trial, Appellant was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or
[ 387 Pa. Super. Page 381]
controlled substance, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3731, and leaving the scene of an accident involving damage to an attended vehicle, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3743. Trial counsel failed to file post-trial motions and by motion an order was entered dismissing Appellant's direct appeal but permitting him to file for relief under the Post Conviction Hearing Act. Following a PCHA hearing on the issues originally raised in his direct appeal, Appellant was denied relief.
This case arises out of an incident which occurred in the Borough of Ambridge, Beaver County. Evelyn Wilson was driving her car in Ambridge at about 9:30 in the evening when it was struck by an automobile operated by Appellant, Franklin Triplett. He left the scene of the accident without stopping and proceeded into Allegheny County.
Officer Bruce Poninsky of Leet Township, Allegheny County testified that at approximately 9:30 on that same evening, he was stopped at a store in Leetsdale*fn1 approximately three blocks from the scene of the accident and about a block and a half from the Beaver County border. While he was there, an unidentified man came on the premises and told him that he had witnessed a hit and run accident and that the car was a small red vehicle. The man gave the officer the license plate number of the vehicle. Upon receiving this information, Officer Poninsky resumed his patrol and proceeded after the red car. He spotted it almost immediately, and while pursuing he heard a radio transmission from Ambridge concerning a hit and run accident. About three-quarters of a mile from the store he stopped Mr. Triplett. Before exiting his patrol car, Officer Poninsky contacted the Ambridge police and asked that an officer come to Leetsdale to determine if Mr. Triplett's auto was involved in the hit and run.
[ 387 Pa. Super. Page 382]
Within minutes, Ambridge Officer Kuzma arrived at the scene. Both officers testified that Mr. Triplett smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech and glazed eyes. Appellant staggered as he got out of the car, could barely stand, and had to be helped from his car to the patrol car. The officers also found green paint matching that of Ms. Wilson's vehicle on a damaged part of Appellant's car.
The Ambridge officer took Appellant to the hospital for blood tests, stopping on the way at the Ambridge police station for the required forms. Evelyn Wilson was in the police station waiting to make her report when the police brought Mr. Triplett into the station, but she did not make a formal identification of Appellant at that time. The results of ...