Man sentenced to state prison for DUI fatal

A Tyrone man convicted by a jury in May of being drunk behind the wheel in a 2005 car crash that killed a Warriors Mark woman was sentenced to state prison in Huntingdon County Criminal Court Friday. Judge Stewart Kurtz sentenced Jason Crowell, 24, to 3.5 to seven years in prison and fined him $2,725.
Sentencing followed statements by several family members of Sharon Reed, the 18-year-old killed in the April 14, 2005, one-vehicle crash on Route 45, Franklin Township.
Crowell was convicted following a one-day trial. A presentence investigation had been ordered.
District Attorney Robert Stewart III said Crowell of all people should have known the dangers of driving drunk because he previously had been a passenger in a DUI crash in which one person was killed.
“It’s clear the human cost to all the people involved has been very difficult,” Stewart said.
At trial, testimony by the two surviving passengers showed Crowell, Reed and passengers Duane Day and Scott Borgess were driving back roads in the Warriors Mark area and that Crowell had taken turns driving the vehicle with Borgess, Reed’s younger brother.
Reed was ejected through the rear window of the vehicle and the car came to rest on top of her. Day owned the vehicle. He also was ejected.
The foursome had been hanging out at a Tyrone apartment and consumed alcohol there and while in the car, trial witnesses testified. Borgess testified that he and Reed had used marijuana earlier that day.
Crowell’s attorney, Tom Foor of Blair County, said Crowell suffers from at least partial amnesia and doesn’t recall who was driving at the time of the accident.
Family members of Mrs. Reed and Crowell were in the courtroom Friday morning. Several of the victim’s family read or had a victim’s advocate read statements to the court. Barb Reed, Mrs. Reed’s mother-in-law, blamed Crowell for making the decision to initially get in the vehicle when he had been drinking.
“Sharon was a beautiful young woman, full of life,” Barb Reed stated.
She is raising Mrs. Reed’s two young children along with her husband.
One of the responding firefighters was her husband, Mike Reed. A statement read for Mike Reed said he should not have had “to bury his young wife” and stated that he feels DUI cases are handled too lightly.
Ruth Miner of Tyrone, Mrs. Reed’s mother, stood in front of Crowell and asked if he had anything to say.
“You ruined my whole life,” she told him.
Foor said Crowell is “in many ways a responsible young man” and hopes to build a life with his fiancee and young son. He said Crowell is “willing to face responsibility for the verdict of the jury.”
Crowell told Kurtz, “This is a horrible thing that happened,” and said he will try to make his life better.
Kurtz said it was pretty clear from the trial that anyone of the four could have been guilty of this crime. Kurtz said it strikes him that Crowell had no driver’s license the night of the crash and had been a DUI crash victim before.
“Why in the name of God … would you ever get yourself into a vehicle when you or someone else had been drinking?” asked Kurtz.
He said Crowell is an alcoholic who should never take a drink and said he hopes Crowell learns something from being incarcerated.