State Police Promise Thorough Investigation of Fatal Accident - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

State Police Promise Thorough Investigation of Fatal Accident

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It's a tough investigation for the Pennsylvania State Police. They admit that from the evidence so far, one of their own state troopers was "most at fault" in a deadly holiday weekend accident.

Whether the trooper at fault will face criminal charges will be at decision for the Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri after the state police investigation is finished.

State police say what they do know so far, is that that trooper Frederick  Schimp of the Girard barracks was on duty, driving West on Sterrettania Road with his partner, Trooper Garrett Padasak in the passenger seat, when he failed to stop for the stop sign at Route 98. 

That intersection is actually marked with two stop signs, one on the left and right, yet Trooper Schimp drove into the path of  57- year- old Donna Platz as she headed north on Route 98 in her Suzuki Kizashi.

12News/SEE News has learned that Platz was on her way to work at the Peach Street Wegmans bakery when she slammed into the front left side of the state police car.  Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook says she died instantly.

The troopers were both hurt and trapped in the wreckage.  Padasak was released from the hospital Sunday and is now recuperating at home.  The driver, Trooper Schimp is still hospitalized. State police and the DA are promising a thorough and objective investigation.

State Police Communication Services Officer, Steve Oler said, "You want a swift investigation but at the same time thorough.  We would rather take our time, do it right, not that we don't always, but when the investigation involves one of our own we need to be sure everything is accounted for."

District Attorney Jack Daneri said, "What the public should know is that they are investigating this like they would any other fatality.  Once that is all done it will come to our desk, to my desk to decide if what happened is a criminal act or a negligent act of running a stop sign."

State police officials say the thoughts and prayers of the entire troop is with the Platz family and friends.



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