Man who caused death sentenced
HOLLIDAYSBURG – A Duncansville-area man was sentenced Thursday to serve as much as 50 months in prison for causing an accident near his home that resulted in the death of a motorcycle driver.
John Francis McAndrew, 55, of 212 Moyer Road will receive drug and alcohol treatment during his time in prison, according to Blair County Judge Elizabeth A. Doyle.
Doyle, District Attorney Richard A. Consiglio and McAndrew’s attorney, Steven P. Passarello, all called what happened on the night of April 27, 2010, a tragedy.
Motorcyclist Phillip D. Bottenfield Jr., 32, was traveling east on Knob Run Road when McAndrew’s 1997 Chevrolet Blazer, traveling west, began to turn onto Moyer Road.
The front tire of the motorcycle ran into the car, and Bottenfield was thrown from the motorcycle.
Bottenfield, a 1998 graduate of Hollidaysburg Area High School and vice president of Penn Turf Inc., Hollidaysburg, was pronounced dead at the scene by a Blair County deputy coroner.
According to the police charges, McAndrew fled the scene on foot and went to his home where he called the 911 emergency number, reporting that another vehicle struck his car.
When police arrived, they detected the possible use of alcohol and gave McAndrew a field sobriety test.
Court papers stated McAndrew was visibly intoxicated and had glassy, bloodshot eyes. His blood-alcohol content was 0.205 percent about 90 minutes after the accident.
Family members from both sides attended the sentencing hearing but decided not to speak.
McAndrew also did not make a statement, but Passarello said, “This is a tragic case on both sides. … Mr. McAndrew is extremely remorseful.”
His guilty plea called for a 22-to-50 month prison term at a state correctional facility on charges of homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence, first offense and involuntary manslaughter.
Numerous charges were dismissed as the result of the plea agreement, including homicide by vehicle while under the influence, hit and run, a second count of DUI and several traffic offenses.
While McAndrew will serve at least 22 months in prison – he is not eligible for the recidivism risk reduction program – he likely would have been jailed for a minimum of 36 months had he been found guilty of homicide by vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
Consiglio said after the sentencing that the defense contended the high blood-alcohol content reading occurred long after the accident and would have been much lower had it been taken at the time of the crash.
The district attorney said an agreement was reached that satisfied both sides, and, he said, the victim’s family was consulted before the plea agreement was accepted by the prosecution.
McAndrew will owe more than $10,000 in in various expenses.
A civil lawsuit has been filed in the case by Bottenfield’s estate against McAndrew, charging he could not operate his vehicle that night “in a safe and proper manner” due to the use of alcohol.
McAndrew’s civil attorney denies the accusation.
The lawsuit asks in excess of $50,000 on each of two counts under Pennsylvania law.