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Homicide charges not filed against driver in fatal Bald Eagle accident

Hugo Ortiz, of Milton, the driver of the tractor-trailer in a January 23 fatal crash on Interstate 99 will not face Homicide by Motor Vehicle charges.
Following a March 21 meeting held with the District Attorney’s office, it was determined from interviews with Ortiz, evidence collected at the scene, and the collision reconstruction that Ortiz was at fault.
However, with all the facts gathered by police, it was determined that Ortiz will have several summary violations filed against him, but this collision did not warrant any Homicide by Motor Vehicle charges. Ortiz was at fault, but the violations were not gross negligence. Gross negligence must be evident for any prosecution.
Charges of careless driving, following too closely, and driving vehicle at a safe speed were filed before District Judge Fred Miller against Ortiz.
The accident involved three vehicles and killed 44-year-old Brenda Thornhill, of Curwensville. Thornhill was slowing down at the off-ramp at the Bald Eagle exit of Interstate 99. Ortiz slammed into the back of Thornhill’s 1993 Pontiac Bonneville. The impact pushed Thornhill’s car into a tanker truck traveling in front of her. When this occurred, Thornhill’s car burst into flames.
Ortiz and the driver of the tanker truck, Joseph Marhsall of Fayetteville were not injured.
There were no charges filed against Marshall.