Court date set for Waynesboro man charged in fatal crash

Ernest B. Angle and Amy M. Hummer were killed in Feb. 12 crash in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.

December 14, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — A Franklin County, Pa., magisterial district judge ruled Wednesday that all charges should stand against a Waynesboro man accused of killing two people, including his fiancée, in a Feb. 12 crash.

Shawn Tyler Lacasse, 26, of 861 Anthony Ave., was charged Sept. 28 with two counts of homicide by vehicle, and one count each of racing on highways and speeding in a crash that killed two people — one of whom was his 25-year-old fiancée.

Magisterial District Judge Larry Pentz decided all criminal charges should remain in place and scheduled mandatory arraignment for Jan. 25 in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

Pentz heard testimony from a witness to the Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., crash, a collision analyst from the Pennsylvania State Police, and a detective from the Washington Township (Pa.) Police Department.

Lacasse was driving an eastbound Subaru that collided with a red Pontiac Sunfire driven west by Ernest B. Angle. Both Angle, 64, of Waynesboro, and Amy M. Hummer, who was a passenger in the Subaru, were pronounced dead at the scene, with a coroner identifying their causes of death as blunt force trauma.

Hummer also was a Waynesboro resident. Her obituary identifies Lacasse as her fiancé.

Waynesboro resident Caitlin Griffith testified she witnessed the 1 p.m. crash on Pa. 16 (Buchanan Trail East) near the intersection with Old Route 16. She told the judge her ex-boyfriend was driving a car that approached Lacasse's Subaru.

"I remember the driver looking over and smirking a bit," Griffith said.

The ex-boyfriend's car slowed as the road went from two lanes to one, Griffith said. The Subaru started to shake as the driver lost control, and the car went into the other lane of travel, she said.

"Then all I saw was debris and everything," Griffith said.

During cross-examination, Lacasse's attorney, Michael Worgul, asked Griffith about details she couldn't completely recall, such as whether there was snow on the road or by how much the back end of the Subaru rose off the roadway. He focused on her testimony about the ex-boyfriend commenting on his car's speed being 100 mph.

"At what point did he tell you what the speed was?" Worgul asked.

"I just don't know," Griffith said.

State police Cpl. Andrew Theirwechter testified he amended his earlier report about the Subaru's speed at the time of impact. He now calculates it at 64 to 77 mph.

The impact speed would've been lower than its traveling speed, because the car would've slowed as it spun and slid, Franklin County Assistant District Attorney David J. Drumheller said during his closing arguments, reiterating Theirwechter's testimony.

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