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Driver gets 3 years for killing bicyclist

December 20, 2001

Driver gets 3 years for killing bicyclist



By STACEY DANZUSO / chbbureau@innernet.net

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Chambersburg man who struck and killed a bicyclist this summer while he was driving drunk will spend at least three years and three months in a state prison.

Edison Dixson, of 347 E. King St., was sentenced in Franklin County Court Wednesday for driving under the influence and homicide by vehicle while under the influence.

Dixson, 42, entered a guilty plea last month. He struck a bicyclist while driving a 1990 Mercury Sable west on U.S. 30 in St. Thomas Township on July 3, and left the scene.

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The operator of the bicycle, George "Danny" Haulman, 41, of St. Thomas, was flown to York Hospital where he died six days later from his injuries.

Haulman was wearing a helmet, but was thrown about 200 feet after being hit from behind, police said.

Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Carol Van Horn sentenced Dixson to three to 10 years in state prison, the mandatory state minimum for homicide by vehicle while under the influence.

She sentenced him to three to 24 months in prison for driving under the influence, Dixson's third DUI conviction.

She also ordered him to pay $6,669 in restitution for costs relating to the accident.

Public Defender Bob Trambley said Dixson has accepted responsibility for the accident.

"He has been very upset over what he did," he said.

Trambley said Dixson did not know what happened at first, and when he turned around and drove past the accident scene he saw others already there so he did not stop to help.

A witness told police they saw Dixson continue traveling west after the 7:35 p.m. accident with severe damage to his windshield and car, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

The witness wrote down the license plate number and provided a description of Dixson to police.

Police tracked down Dixson at his sister's home. She told police Dixson was drunk and that he came home and said he had hit someone or something, the affidavit said.

Dixson was arrested and taken to Chambersburg Hospital where his blood alcohol content registered .16 percent at 10 p.m., the affidavit said.

He has been in Franklin County Prison since then.

In exchange for his guilty plea last month, Dixson was not prosecuted on charges of accident involving injury, accident involving injury while not properly licensed, aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle or involuntary manslaughter.

Haulman was a dishwasher for 13 years at the New Oak Forest Restaurant in St. Thomas, and frequently rode his bike to work.

He is survived by his parents, five sisters and five brothers.

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