Festa Cleared in Bus Stop Accident Trial - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Festa Cleared in Bus Stop Accident Trial

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A Jury acquits Tyler Festa on all charges related to 2011 School Bus Stop accident.

21 year old  Festa as the driver of a car that was traveling north on Route 97 in Summit Township the morning of December 20, 2011.  His car approached a southbound school bus. The bus had its amber lights flashing, but its red "stop" lights were not activated.  Two kids stepped onto the northbound lane and were struck by Festa's car. One of them, Ashley Clark, 13, was killed.

The question was, should Tyler Festa be found guilty of homicide by vehicle? The Jury responded with a no on all counts.

Troopers confirmed that Festa was traveling 13 to 10 miles per hour below the speed limit. He was not intoxicated and was not texting.

However, State Police cited Festa because the law states that a driver, when seeing yellow lights flashing on a school bus, must be able to stop when the red lights come on. A trooper testified that re-enactment tests reveal that by the time Festa reacted, he never would have been able to stop if those red lights had come on.

But, troopers also testified that Clark and the other student were also at fault. They testified that the teenagers were, basically, jaywalking since the red lights of the bus were not on. One trooper testified that Festa legally had the right of way.

After the prosecution rested its case, Defense Attorney Peter Sala asked Judge John Trucilla for an acquittal of his client, saying the DA's office did not prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Tyler Festa acted with recklessness.

The judge ruled the trial to continue Wednesday morning and the jury had the final word.

 

 

 

 

 

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