Miss. man pleads guilty to third-degree murder in crash that killed Waynesboro woman

David Michael Szumigala was driving a Chevrolet Impala when it crashed into a minivan, killing Judithann "Judy" Clement, the mother of nine children

November 30, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Szumigala

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — A Mississippi man pleaded guilty Wednesday to third-degree murder in the March 17 vehicle crash that killed a Waynesboro, Pa., mother of nine children.

David Michael Szumigala, 21, was driving a Chevrolet Impala involved in a police pursuit moments before it crashed into a minivan, causing fatal injuries to 45-year-old Judithann "Judy" Clement.

"He's accepting responsibility at this point.... He appreciates the gravity of what happened," defense attorney Mark Bayley said when contacted after the hearing.

Franklin County (Pa.) District Attorney Matt Fogal said Szumigala was scheduled to appear in the Court of Common Pleas for a status conference. Fogal said he was surprised when Bayley entered the guilty plea at that time.

Szumigala, who will be sentenced Jan. 18, faces 12 to 24 years in a state prison, Fogal said.

He is currently being held without bail in Franklin County Jail.

After the midnight crash, Clement was flown by helicopter to York (Pa.) Hospital and pronounced dead there.

Washington Township, Pa., police said they received a complaint of reckless driving in the Walmart parking lot and saw Szumigala's car speeding in the lot.  Szumigala fled an attempted traffic stop, and continued to drive onto Old Route 16 and Pa. 16, police said.

Washington Township Officer John Brady pursued the Impala and failed to negotiate Beck's Curve near Renfrew Park, where his police cruiser hit a guardrail.

"At that point, the pursuit was terminated. The officer was examined at the hospital and released," Washington Township police said in a news release in March.

The car continued west into the Borough of Waynesboro and collided with Clement's Dodge Grand Caravan at the intersection of Grant and West Main streets.

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