Police: Man DUI in Newberry crash that injured mother, daughter
- Police say Alexander Vittone, 24, was drunk when he crashed his car into a truck.
- The crash severely injured the truck's two occupants, police said.
- Vittone is charged with aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI.
- Vittone remains free on $25,000 unsecured bail.
A Fairview Township man was nearly twice the legal blood alcohol level when he crashed his car into a truck, severely injuring the two occupants, according to police.
Newberry Township Police say Alexander Asenov Vittone, 24, was drunk when he drove his red Mazda SUV into the oncoming lane of traffic, where he struck a Ford pickup truck and caused serious injuries to the two women inside.
The victims, a mother and her adult daughter, required surgeries because of the crash, according to officials.
Sgt. Braxton Ditty, who filed the charges, said Thursday, Dec. 7, that the mother is still in a wheelchair, nearly four months later.
"It has been a very long and agonizing recovery," he said.
Vittone, of the 100 block of Wilcox Drive, is charged with two counts of aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, DUI and summary traffic violations.
Crash: Newberry Township Police were sent to the area of Yocumtown Road and Valley Green Road about 8:30 p.m. Aug. 20 for a report of a crash with entrapment.
When officials arrived, they found two women trapped inside the truck in the eastbound lane of Yocumtown Road while Vittone sat outside his Mazda, which was off to the side of the westbound lane, according to court documents.
Police say the two women in the car had obvious, serious leg injuries. The two were removed after about 20 minutes and taken to a nearby trauma center.
A collision reconstructionist found that Vittone crossed into the other lane of traffic that night, causing the crash, officials said.
BAC: When officers were speaking with Vittone following the crash, police say, he had slurred and thick speech and appeared confused. At the bottom of the back of his SUV, police found an empty can of Four Loko, an alcoholic beverage that is 14 percent alcohol by volume per drink, charging documents allege.
Vittone admitted to drinking two of them prior to driving, police said.
Vittone was taken to Holy Spirit Hospital, where he had his blood drawn, documents state. His blood was sent out for testing, and police say it later showed that Vittone had a BAC of 0.15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent when driving, court documents state.
Injuries: The two women in the truck suffered "significant serious bodily injury," according to police.
The driver — the mother — suffered a fractured left hip, fractured left femur, compound fracture to the right knee and multiple fractures in both of her feet. She needed four corrective surgeries, and Ditty said she is still in a wheelchair.
The passenger — her daughter — suffered a fractured left hip, fractured left femur, large laceration on her right knee and multiple fractures to her fingers and toes. She had to have corrective surgery and required a walker for assistance, police said.
Charges: Ditty said the department waited to file charges to see the end result of the victims' diagnoses, because the aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI charge, he said, requires "serious bodily injury."
He said additional time was needed to reconstruct the crash as well.
Charges were filed Dec. 1, and Vittone was arraigned on them Wednesday, Dec. 6.
Vittone remains free on $25,000 unsecured bail, meaning if he does not show up to court proceedings, he may forfeit up to that amount.
Someone who answered a number listed for him Thursday said Vittone would not be commenting. He does not have an attorney listed.
Ditty said Vittone turned himself in when the charges were filed and has been cooperative with the investigation.
The sergeant said the department is very aggressive with DUI enforcement and prosecution within its jurisdiction, and Vittone's case is an example of why.
"This is an example where someone has impaired judgement, it directly affects his ability to operate a vehicle, and the result is tragic," he said.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.