from the Judgment of Sentence January 7, 2016 In the Court of
Common Pleas of Bradford County Criminal Division at No(s):
BEFORE: SHOGAN, MOULTON, JJ., and STEVENS, P.J.E.
Roegester Grays, appeals from the judgment of sentence
entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Bradford County
following his conviction by a jury on two counts of homicide
by vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol
("homicide by vehicle-DUI"), one count of
aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the
influence ("aggravated assault by vehicle-DUI"),
two counts of homicide by vehicle, one count of aggravated
assault by vehicle, two counts of driving under the
influence-general impairment and high rate ("DUI"),
and one count of possession of a controlled
substance. After a careful review, we affirm.
relevant facts and procedural history are as follows: On
March 1, 2013, at approximately 5:00 p.m., Appellant, who was
driving a Chevrolet Avalanche ("Avalanche")
westbound on Route 328, collided head-on with a Chevrolet
Suburban ("Suburban"), which was traveling
eastbound on Route 328 and being driven by Ryan English. As a
result of the crash, Mr. English and his wife, Karen English,
were killed instantly, and their thirteen-year-old son, C.M.,
four-year-old son, L.E., were injured. Their ten-year-old
son, G.E., was not injured.
was arrested and charged with numerous crimes. On November
21, 2013, he filed a lengthy counseled, pre-trial motion
seeking, inter alia, to suppress his blood alcohol
content ("BAC") from blood that was drawn on March
1, 2013, at 9:20 p.m., after he was arrested by Pennsylvania
State Police Trooper John J. Youngblood,  to suppress the
physical evidence seized by the police from his vehicle, and
to suppress pre-arrest statements Appellant made to Trooper
Youngblood at the Arnot Ogden Medical Center ("Arnot
Ogden") Emergency Room in New York.
a hearing held on January 7, 2014,  by order and opinion filed
on April 1, 2014, the trial court granted Appellant's
motion to suppress Appellant's post-arrest BAC from the
blood drawn at 9:30 p.m. upon request of Trooper Youngblood;
however, the trial court denied Appellant's motion to
suppress the evidence obtained from the search of his vehicle
and the evidence gained by the police at Arnot Ogden prior to
Appellant's arrest. Trial Court Order, filed 4/1/14.
25, 2014, Appellant filed an additional pre-trial omnibus
motion in which he sought, inter alia, to suppress
and/or preclude the Commonwealth from introducing
Appellant's medical records from Arnot Ogden,
particularly Appellant's pre-arrest BAC from blood drawn
at 5:30 p.m. on March 1, 2013, by order of Appellant's
treating physician, Joseph Haluska, M.D., at the Arnot Ogden
Emergency Room. Specifically, Appellant contended the medical
records were obtained via an improperly issued and served
subpoena, in violation of Appellant's doctor-patient
privilege, and inadmissible as there was no "paper
trail" establishing blood was actually drawn by order of
Dr. Haluska. The trial court denied Appellant's motion.
January 16, 2015, Appellant filed a motion in limine
seeking to preclude the Commonwealth from admitting into
evidence Appellant's pre-arrest BAC from the blood drawn
and tested by order of Dr. Haluska. In this motion, Appellant
asserted his pre-arrest BAC should be precluded as the Arnot
Ogden laboratory was not a fully licensed and approved
Pennsylvania facility for testing purposes. The matter
proceeded to a hearing on May 26, 2015, and by order entered
on July 13, 2015, the trial court denied Appellant's
January 16, 2015, motion in limine.
August 10, 2015, Appellant filed another motion in
limine in which he again sought to preclude his
pre-arrest BAC from the blood drawn and tested by order of
Dr. Haluska. In this motion, Appellant contended that the
introduction of his pre-arrest BAC would violate his due
process rights as the Commonwealth failed to preserve a
sample of Appellant's blood, thus precluding Appellant
from independently testing his blood. The trial court denied
Appellant's motion in limine with regard to his
request to preclude the introduction of his pre-arrest BAC.
November 16, 2015, the matter proceeded to a jury trial at
which the parties stipulated that the death of Mr. and Mrs.
English was caused by trauma incurred during the motor
vehicle collision at issue. N.T., 11/16/15, at 32. With
regard to the collision, Rita Dennison testified that she
resides in a rural area near Route 328, and on March 1, 2013,
she was at home with her brother, who was visiting and making
plans to assist her with mowing her lawn. Id. at 34.
She indicated that, in an effort to show her brother her
property lines, she and her brother were looking out of her
kitchen window, which faced Route 328, when she saw an
Avalanche "zooming" down the road, passing all of
the cars that were going with the normal flow of traffic.
Id. at 35. Mrs. Dennison continued to watch the
Avalanche and, as it crested up the hill, she noted that the
Avalanche was still passing vehicles, even though the road
was lined for no passing in that area of the road.
Id. She indicated the Avalanche was traveling west
and passing cars on a double lined road. Id. at 36.
Mrs. Dennison testified that, just after the Avalanche left
her sight, she "heard an awful crash, it sounded like an
explosion." Id. She did not investigate the
source of the noise, but when her husband returned home
shortly thereafter, she informed him of the noise, and he
left on his four-wheeler to investigate. Id. at 37.
Dennison's brother, Hugh B. Cunningham, confirmed he was
visiting Mrs. Dennison on the day of the accident, and as
they were looking out of her kitchen window, he noticed a
large vehicle "hauling butt" and passing other
vehicles in a no-passing zone. Id. at 58. He
indicated that, as Mrs. Dennison moved to look out of the
other kitchen window, she said "[he's] so fast
he's going up the hill[, ]" and then he heard
"an explosion." Id.
Dennison's husband, Joe Dennison, confirmed that he drove
his four-wheeler to the top of the hill near his house on
Route 328 and several firefighters had already arrived on the
scene. Id. at 63. He observed an Avalanche on the
left side of the road and another vehicle, which was upside
down, covered with a tarp. Id.
Amentler testified that, on the day in question, he was
driving a pick-up truck loaded with hay on Route 328 East
and, as he turned a corner, a Suburban was traveling in the
same direction ahead of him. Id. at 70. He testified
that the two vehicles were traveling at a "normal
speed." Id. He indicated that, as they started
up a hill, the Suburban was about five car lengths in front
of him when he suddenly noticed a large vehicle, later
identified as an Avalanche, coming towards them "on the
wrong side of the road." Id. at 71. Mr.
Amentler clarified that all four tires of the Avalanche were
over the double yellow line "on the wrong side" of
the road. Id. at 80. He testified the Suburban
stayed in its lane of travel and was hit "pretty much
head-on" by the opposing Avalanche. Id. at 72.
The Suburban "flipped up in the air and ended up on the
other side of the road[, ]" and the Avalanche "spun
back into the guardrails." Id. Mr. Amentler
indicated he was able to avoid the collision, traveled to the
top of the hill, pulled his truck to the side of the hill,
stopped an oncoming westbound vehicle, and asked the driver
to call 911. Id. at 73.
Amentler testified he then ran down the hill to the crash
site and heard the sound of children crying from inside the
Suburban, which was upside down. Id. at 74. He
looked inside the back passenger area and saw a child hanging
upside down in a car seat. Id. With the assistance
of other motorists, he removed the children from the
Suburban, but he was unable to assist the driver (Mr.
English) or the front seat passenger (Mrs. English) as he
"couldn't get into that compartment" of the
Amentler then ran to check on the driver of the Avalanche,
later identified as Appellant, and found him still seated in
the driver's seat. Id. at 75. Appellant had
blood coming out of the bridge of his nose and was
complaining of pain to his nose. Id. Mr. Amentler
was unable to open the Avalanche's front door, so he
opened the back door and a beer can fell out of the vehicle.
Id. At this point, since Appellant did not seem to
be hurt too badly, Mr. Amentler decided it was best to let
the authorities take over with regard to the Avalanche and
Amentler testified he went back to assisting the children,
one of whom was obviously severely injured. Id. at
76. Ambulances and firefighters responded to the scene, and
Mr. Amentler remained to speak to the Pennsylvania State
Police, who arrived within half an hour of the crash.
Id. He noted that, from the time the accident
occurred until the police arrived, neither vehicle involved
in the accident moved. Id. at 77.
confirmed that he was in the Suburban on the day in question
with his siblings, as well as his puppy, PJ, who perished in
the accident, and the family's adult black Labrador
Retriever, Lila. N.T., 11/17/15, at 11. C.M. testified that
Mr. English was driving, Mrs. English was in the front
passenger seat, he was on the left side of the back passenger
seat, L.E. was in a car seat on the right side of the back
passenger seat, and G.E., as well as Lila, were in the third
row. Id. at 8, 12. C.M. indicated that he remembered
seeing a truck coming towards the family's Suburban and
it was "driving on [their] side of the lane."
Id. After the collision, the Suburban was
"upside down" and all three boys, who were wearing
seat belts or secured in a car seat, were dangling upside
down. Id. at 13. C.M. did not see or hear any noise
coming from his stepfather or mother. Id. at 14.
C.M. testified that he crawled out of the Suburban, and by
the time he exited, a man was holding L.E.; G.E. was also out
of the Suburban and so was the dog, Lila. Id. at
testified that he had pain in his stomach area and an
ambulance took him to a hospital. Id. at 17. He
underwent surgery on his abdomen and he suffered a broken
arm, which required a cast and physical therapy. Id.
at 18. C.M. was in the hospital, and he was reunited with the
family dog, Lila, after he was released. Id. at 19.
He indicated that L.E. suffered a broken leg, which required
a cast. Id. at 20.
Kipferl, a postal employee, testified that he was traveling
behind Mr. Amentler's pick-up truck, which was directly
behind the English's Suburban, when he saw a vehicle
"coming around the corner in [their] lane...and [strike]
the Suburban head-on." Id. at 44. He indicated
that the Suburban tried to go to the left in an attempt to
get in the other lane, but it was hit head-on, resulting in
it "barrel rolling" onto its roof and landing in
the ditch. Id. at 45. Mr. Kipferl immediately
stopped his vehicle, ran to the driver of the Avalanche,
determined the driver was conscious, and then ran to the
Suburban to check on its occupants. Id. He saw three
children dangling from their safety restraints and assisted
at least one of them out of the Suburban. Id. at 46.
There was no movement from Mr. English or Mrs. English.
Frawley testified that he did not observe the accident, but
came upon it as a gentleman was removing children from the
Suburban. Id. at 53-54. Since it was cold outside,
he placed two of the children in his vehicle to await the
arrival of emergency personnel. Id. at 54. He noted
that he saw Appellant in the Avalanche, as well as beer cans
lying on the driver's side floor and outside on the
ground. Id. at 56, 60-61, 63. He denied seeing a
large or medium-sized animal running around the accident
scene, although he later learned that the English family had
a black Labrador Retriever, which was in the Suburban at the
time of the accident. Id. at 69-71.
Sheive testified that he is a volunteer firefighter, and he
responded to the accident scene. Id. at 80-81. He
went directly to the Suburban, and he was informed that three
children had escaped but that two adults were still inside.
Id. at 82. He began to extricate the front seat
adults and discovered that they were already deceased.
Id. at 84-85.
L. Sweet, Jr., testified that he is an ambulance driver, and
he transported Appellant to the nearest hospital, Arnot
Ogden. Id. at 91. He indicated it took approximately
twenty-five to thirty minutes to reach Arnot Ogden, and upon
arrival, Appellant was taken directly to the Emergency Room.
Id. at 94-95.
paramedic working with Mr. Sweet, Ashley Adams Prosser,
testified that her records reveal they began transporting
Appellant from the scene at 5:14 p.m. and arrived at Arnot
Ogden at 5:28 p.m. Id. at 102. Ms. Prosser testified
she did not draw blood from Appellant, but she unsuccessfully
attempted to insert an IV to administer pain medicine for his
obviously fractured ankle. Id. at 102-06. She
indicated that Appellant signed a consent form permitting him
to be transported by the ambulance to the hospital.
Id. at 107. She noted that, during the transport,
Appellant told her a few times that he had swerved to miss
hitting a black dog and, upon hindsight, he wished he had hit
the dog instead of attempting to miss it. Id. at
State Police Trooper David Kittle testified that he received
a radio dispatch for a crash on Route 328, and he arrived at
the scene at approximately 5:29 p.m. Id. at 27. He
indicated it was still daylight at this time, and emergency
personnel were on the scene; however, the children, as well
as Appellant, had already been removed from the scene via
ambulance. Id. at 30. Mr. and Mrs. English were
deceased in the Suburban. Id. at 36.
Kittle described Appellant's Avalanche as facing
eastbound on the shoulder of the road against the guardrail,
and the English's Suburban was flipped over on the north
shoulder of the road. Id. at 32-33. Trooper Kittle
indicated that he saw an empty beer can lying on the road on
the driver's side of the Avalanche; however, he did not
remember Mr. Amentler informing him that the beer can had
fallen out of the Avalanche when he opened the back door.
Id. at 40-41. He indicated that a subsequent search
of Appellant's vehicle pursuant to a search warrant
revealed a sandwich baggie containing soft-rolled marijuana
cigarettes. Id. at 160.
State Trooper Timothy P. Young testified that his primary
role is that of a state fire marshal, but he also analyzes
vehicles involved in crashes. Id. at 129. He
analyzed the two vehicles involved in the present crash and
"observed that [they] had severe front-end damage to
them." Id. at 131. He noted that he saw no
evidence leading him to believe that either the Avalanche or
Suburban were not in good working order prior to the crash.
Id. at 131-32.
Wisel, a detective for the District Attorney's Office,
testified that in May of 2013 he interviewed Appellant at his
house. Id. at 137-38. Appellant, who was in a
wheelchair due to an ankle injury, told Detective Wisel that,
on the day of the crash, he had taken a prescribed muscle
relaxer and had "consumed a couple of beers."
Id. at 141. Appellant told Detective Wisel that,
before the crash, "a medium-sized black dog had entered
the roadway." Id. at 143. Detective Wisel noted
that photos taken from the scene reveal two beer cans lying
near Appellant's vehicle. N.T., 11/19/15, at 65, 68.
point, the District Attorney read into evidence a portion of
Appellant's testimony from a motion in limine
hearing at which Appellant indicated "what lead into the
accident, either a small dog or a deer per se was in
the road and [he] went to avoid this animal and successfully
avoided this animal and then an on-coming car was in [his]
path and [he] tried to avoid colliding with them." N.T.,
11/17/15, at 158.
Brann, M.D., confirmed that, as a result of the accident,
C.M. suffered a growth plate injury to his wrist, which
required casting. N.T., 11/18/16, at 4. Further, he testified
C.M. suffered "a bowel perforation, Jejunum Perforation
which is the small bowel[, ] [a]n ulcer, a hematoma on
Duodenum[, ] which is also the small bowel[, ] and injuries
to his Transverse Colon." Id. at 5. Dr. Brann
testified surgery was necessary to address C.M.'s
internal injuries. Id. He noted that, with regard to
the bowel injury, there was a significant risk of infection
and septic shock, which can lead to death. Id. at 6.
Dr. Brann testified that C.M. was transported via helicopter
to a hospital in Rochester, New York, where his surgery was
performed. Id. at 15. C.M. was in the hospital for
twelve days. Id. at 6. Dr. Brann indicated that
C.M.'s wrist healed well, although he continued to have
"some discomfort with repetitive activities such as
doing hay or tennis." Id. at 20.
testified that L.E. suffered a fracture to his left tibia,
which required casting. Id. at 7. Dr. Brann admitted
that, initially, L.E. was evaluated on March 1, 2013, at
Arnot Ogden, and the fracture was not discovered at this
time. Id. at 9-10. However, on March 2, 2013, when
L.E. returned for a follow-up appointment, medical personnel
noticed that L.E. was not putting weight on his leg, and the
fracture was discovered. Id. at 10. Dr. Brann
testified that, on March 21, 2013, L.E.'s leg was placed
in a short cast, which was removed on April 11, 2013.
Id. at 12-13. Dr. Brann noted that L.E.'s
fracture healed well. Id. at 13.
Haluska, M.D., a physician at Arnot Ogden, testified that he
treated Appellant in the Emergency Room. Id. at
34-35. He indicated that he ordered a blood alcohol test
because he intended to administer "very potent pain
medication" to Appellant and he needed to ensure that he
did not "create a more dangerous situation by giving
[Appellant] a potent narcotic for pain relief on top of [a]
possible significant alcohol level." Id. at 36.
He specifically testified that he ordered the blood alcohol
test "solely for the...diagnosis and treatment of
[Appellant's] injuries." Id. at 37. He
indicated that he did not perform the actual blood draw, but
that he ordered such a draw and testing be performed.
Id. at 37-38. After he received the results of the
test, Dr. Haluska ordered that Appellant receive a narcotic
drug, Dilantin, which was administered at 6:10 p.m.
Id. at 41, 43-44. He noted that Dilantin would not
affect one's blood alcohol content. Id. at 46.
Dieterle, a physician's assistant in the Emergency Room
of Arnot Ogden, testified that she assisted with the care of
Appellant on March 1, 2013, and she smelled a strong odor of
alcohol on his breath. Id. at 52.
Caporaso, R.N., testified she was an intravenous specialist
at Arnot Ogden, and after being directed to do so by Dr.
Haluska, she performed a blood draw on Appellant on March 1,
2013, at approximately 5:30 p.m. Id. at 73-74, 88.
After drawing the blood, she placed it in a tube; she placed
the tube in a biohazard bag and carried it to the laboratory.
Id. at 75. She noted this is her normal practice
with regard to the treatment of patients, and it was not done
for legal purposes. Id. at 77.
Catherine Martin, the System Director of Phlebotomy Services
at Arnot Ogden, testified that the laboratory was certified
by the New York State Department of Health to conduct blood
alcohol testing. Id. at 56. She testified that, on
March 1, 2013, the Arnot Ogden laboratory was not
specifically certified by Pennsylvania to conduct blood
alcohol testing because, at that time, Pennsylvania accepted
its sister state's certification. Id. at 70. She
noted that the testing is done using a machine, which prints
out a blood serum report. Id. at 59. The machine
that Arnot Ogden uses is the Cobas 6000 made by
Beckman-Colder. Id. at 69. She indicated that there
is a conversion factor recognized to convert serum levels to
whole blood levels, which is recognized by the Journal of
Toxicology. Id. at 67. She explained that "if
you were to take [the] serum alcohol level and divide it by
1.18 you would get the equivalent whole blood alcohol
level." Id. at 61.
H. Schrader, a medical technologist at Arnot Ogden, testified
that for blood alcohol testing the laboratory takes a
specimen, spins in it the centrifuge, and then an alcohol
level based on the serum is determined. Id. at 120.
She indicated that she performed the testing of
Appellant's pre- arrest blood draw, and at 6:14 p.m., his
serum blood alcohol level was 0.145%. Id. at 124,
Martin was recalled to the stand and she testified that the
conversion from serum blood alcohol to a corresponding blood
alcohol would be .123% in the case sub judice.
Id. at 159. Ms. Martin testified that Arnot Ogden
provided Appellant's medical records, which contained his
serum blood alcohol level, to the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania in response to a search warrant. Id. at
State Police Trooper John J. Youngblood testified that he
arrived at the accident scene at 5:45 p.m., and Appellant had
already been transported to the hospital. Id. at
105. Trooper Youngblood went to Arnot Ogden at 7:45 p.m. in
order to speak to Appellant, and at this time, Dr. Haluska
informed him that a medical draw of Appellant's blood had
been done. Id. at 106, 164. Upon questioning,
Appellant told the trooper that the accident occurred when
either he or the Suburban swerved to miss a black Labrador
Retriever. Id. at 106. In speaking with Appellant,
Trooper Youngblood noticed "a faint odor of
alcohol" and that Appellant's speech was
"slow." Id. at 108, 117. Accordingly, he
asked Appellant if he had been drinking, using drugs, or
taking any medication. Id. at 108. Appellant denied
drinking alcohol or using drugs, but he admitted he had taken
a blood thinner, as well as a muscle relaxer, earlier in the
day. Id. Appellant told the trooper he had been
traveling at approximately 55 mph at the time of the
collision. Id. at 116.
State Police Trooper Joseph F. Wasko, who is a collision
analyst and reconstruction specialist, testified that he was
called at 6:00 p.m. to report to the scene, and he arrived
approximately fifty minutes later. N.T., 11/19/15, at 5. He
examined the scene and came back on March 25, 2013, to map
the scene. Id. at 6. Trooper Wasko testified the
roadway, from fog line to fog line, measured 22.02 feet wide,
with the westbound lane being 10.86 feet wide and the
eastbound lane being 11.18 feet wide. Id. at 16-19,
37-38. He indicated the Suburban was 6.58 feet wide with a
curb weight of 5, 743 pounds, and the Avalanche was 6.67 feet
wide with a curb weight of 5, 652 pounds. Id. at 19,
48-49. The Avalanche was 18.5 feet long. Id. at 47.
The berm on the eastbound lane, from the fog line to the
guardrails, measured 3.03 feet. Id. at 38.
Wasko testified that he also analyzed both vehicles'
airbag control modules, which electronically recorded the
vehicles' data, and determined that the Suburban was
traveling at 60 mph at two seconds before impact, 44 mph at
one second before impact, and 40 mph at half a second before
impact. Id. at 21-22. The Avalanche was traveling at
61 mph at two seconds before impact and 56 mph at one second
before impact. Id. at 23. There was no data as to
half a second before impact for the Avalanche. Id.
trooper noted that he examined the vehicles and discovered
that the Avalanche had more frontal impact as compared to the
Suburban, which had more of an angled impact on the front
passenger side. Id. at 24.
Wasko opined that the Suburban was attempting to avoid the
collision. Id. at 54-55. He also opined that, based
on his analysis of the accident scene and the damage to the
vehicles, both vehicles were in the eastbound lane when they
collided. Id. at 27. He noted that the gouge marks,
scrapes, and scratches in the road, which occurred during the
collision, revealed that the vehicles collided in the
eastbound lane. Id. at 28.
Wasko opined that, when the vehicles collided, the Suburban
slid sideways from the eastbound lane across the center lane
to the westbound lane, and when it reached the muddy, soft
shoulder, it tipped onto its roof. Id. at 31. He
testified that, upon collision, the Avalanche spun in a
clockwise manner, remained "right side up, " and
landed parallel to the eastbound guardrails in a westward
direction. Id. at 31-32, 40.
Wasko explained that the Avalanche came to a rest in the
westward direction because of the mass and weight of the
vehicles, combined with the speed of impact, and the energy
from the collision. Id. at 49-50. He clarified that,
during the collision, the vehicles touched each other for
"a split second" and "as they are impacting
one or both [vehicles] are going to the ground creating the
gouges and [other] evidence[.]" Id. at 54. He
noted the vehicles then rebounded and, based on the transfer
of energy, as well as the direction the vehicles were
traveling at the point of impact, physics determined where
the vehicle would end up. Id. at 54-55. He noted the
fact the Suburban "was already in a turning maneuver to
try to avoid the collision" determined the vehicle would
continue in that direction after impact, and the angle at
which the Avalanche was hit meant that it could "only go
one way and it can only go clockwise and come backwards and
spin, it [couldn't] go any other way because the
[Suburban] [was] preventing it from going that way."
Id. at 55.
defense presented the testimony of Diana Protzman, a rescue
worker for a nearby fire department. She testified that she
responded to the scene and approached Appellant, who was
sitting in the driver's seat of the Avalanche.
Id. at 83. She noticed that he had a laceration to
his lip and chin, as well as injuries to his ankle.
Id. at 84. She placed gauze on his lip and
instructed him to hold it in place. Id. at 85. She
indicated that she was at about an arm's length away from
Appellant for four to five minutes. Id. During this
time, she did not detect an odor of alcohol coming from
Appellant and she did not observe any signs of intoxication.
Id. at 86.
took the stand in his own defense, and he testified that he
retired from the United States Navy due to a medical
disability involving his heart and lower legs. Id.
at 89. He denied consuming alcohol on March 1, 2013, and he
denied driving his vehicle in the fashion described by Ms.
Dennison and her brother. Id. at 91-98. He testified
that, as he was approaching the area where the collision
occurred, he was going the speed limit and there were no cars
in front of or behind him. Id. at 99.
indicated that, as he crested the hill "a black animal
had hopped out in front of [him] and [he] swerved to miss
it." Id. He clarified that the animal came from
his right. Id. He indicated that his reaction was to
jerk the steering wheel and then look in his rear view mirror
to determine whether he had hit the animal. Id. at
99-100. He determined that he did not hit the animal and when
he looked forward again he saw "a vehicle coming
straight at [him]." Id. at 100. He indicated
that his vehicle was situated on his side of the road in the
westbound lane and the opposing vehicle was at an angle
coming into his lane. Id. He tried to avoid the
collision, but he was unable to do so. Id. at 101.
He noted his Avalanche's front passenger side hit the
front passenger side of the Suburban. Id.
testified that, as he was being removed from the vehicle by
emergency personnel, he advised them that he had swerved to
avoid a black animal, which may have been a dog. Id.
at 105-06. He noted that he also told the woman in the
ambulance, hospital personnel, Trooper Youngblood, and the
detective from the District Attorney's Office that he had
swerved to miss a black dog or black animal. Id. at
108-09. He testified that the only person with whom he had
any verbal interaction at the accident scene was Ms.
Protzman. Id. at 110.
indicated that, during the ambulance ride to Arnot Ogden, Ms.
Prosser told him that he was being transported to a hospital
in New York, but since the accident occurred in Pennsylvania,
he needed to sign a consent form so that blood could be
drawn. Id. at 111. Contrary to Ms. Prosser's
testimony, Appellant testified that Ms. Prosser withdrew one
vial of blood from him while he was in the ambulance.
Id. Appellant further testified that, after he was
taken into the Emergency Room, Ms. Prosser went out to the
ambulance to retrieve the vial of blood, but he has no
knowledge of what happened to the blood after this time.
Id. at 112-13.
to Nurse Caporaso's testimony, Appellant denied that
Nurse Caporaso drew any pre-arrest blood samples from him
while he was at Arnot Ogden. Id. at 114. He admitted
that she gave him an injection of a narcotic for the pain.
Id. at 115.
testified that, at approximately 8:00 p.m., Trooper
Youngblood arrived at Arnot Ogden, he asked Appellant to
consent to a blood draw, and Appellant consented, resulting
in one vial of post-arrest blood being drawn from his person
by a nurse. Id. at 115-17. Appellant further
testified that Trooper Youngblood immediately took control of
the vial of blood. Id. at 117. He indicated that he
informed Trooper Youngblood that he had not consumed any
alcohol on that day. Id. at 118. He noted that, in
May of 2013, he subsequently informed the detective from the
District Attorney's Office that he had not consumed any
alcohol on March 1, 2013; however, he admitted that he told
the detective that he had taken a muscle relaxer and consumed
"some beers" the night before the accident.
Id. at 118-19. He denied that any beer cans fell out
of his Avalanche on the day of the accident. Id. at
conclusion of all testimony, the jury convicted of Appellant
of the offenses indicated supra, and the trial court
convicted Appellant of the summary offenses indicated
supra. Appellant filed a post-verdict motion
alleging the verdicts were not supported by sufficient
evidence and/or the verdicts were against the weight of the
evidence. By order entered on
6, 2016, the trial court denied Appellant's post-verdict
motions, and on January 7, 2016, Appellant proceeded to a
sentencing hearing, at the conclusion of which he was
sentenced to an aggregate of 252 months plus 30 days in
prison to 564 months in prison. Appellant was given 488 days of
credit for time served, and he filed timely post-sentence
motions,  which were denied by operation of law on
June 20, 2016. This timely counseled appeal followed. The
trial court directed Appellant to file a Pa.R.A.P.1925(b)
statement, Appellant timely complied, and the learned trial
judge, the Honorable Maureen T. Beirne, filed a responsive
Pa.R.A.P. 1925(a) opinion on November 2, 2016.
1. Whether the trial court erred in denying via operation of
law the motion for judgment of acquittal with respect to
counts 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, and 21 where
the undisputed physical facts establish it was not possible
for [Appellant's] vehicle to have been in the eastbound
travel lane of the highway at the time of the collision and
therefore the returned verdicts were not supported by
2. Whether the trial court erred in finding that sufficient
medical evidence had been presented to establish the minor
child had suffered a serious bodily injury and therefore
there was insufficient ...