BELLEFONTE-The man who caused the fatality of his vehicle's passenger last October was sentenced yesterday.
Travis Burckhard was sentenced by the Honorable Senior Judge Charles C. Brown Jr. to four years of supervised probation with two 2-year periods of concurrent probation and 100 hours of community service, according to a press release by Centre County's district attorney, Stacy Parks Miller.
Burckhard had plead guilty to one count homicide by vehicle, a felony of the third degree; one count involuntary manslaughter, a misdemeanor of the first degree; three counts of recklessly endangering another person, a misdemeanor in the second degree; and numerous summary offenses, including careless driving, driving at safe speed and driving unregistered vehicle, according to the release.
According to the release, on Oct. 11, 2011, Spring Township Police were dispatched to a crash on the 2000 block of Axemann Road. Upon arrival, the police observed the driver, later identified as Burckhard, still seated in the driver's seat as he was unable to get out and had to be extracted. Burckhard was driving the vehicle at an excessive rate of 61 mph in a 25 mph zone when he wrapped the vehicle around a fire hydrant and telephone pole, partially ejecting the victim, Daniel Flood, out of the back window and fully ejecting another passenger. Flood was transported by Life Flight from the scene and was pronounced dead at the Altoona Regional Health System several hours later as a result of blunt force trauma and hemothorax, according to the release.
Parks Miller stated, "We are happy he accepted responsibility, but we would have preferred he was sentenced to some measure of incarceration as this was a completely avoidable death that only occurred due to the defendant's deliberate driving choices and extreme recklessness."