RICHLAND TWP. – A Clarion man is facing homicide by vehicle and other charges stemming from a May 4 crash that killed a local man and injured a woman in the yard of their Turkey City home.
Mitchel Allen Davenport, 23, was charged with four felonies, including homicide by vehicle, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol, aggravated assault and aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI. He was also charged with involuntary manslaughter, simple assault and reckless endangerment, as well as two counts of DUI and multiple traffic violations.
According to reports, state police were dispatched to the scene of the crash — at the intersection of Route 338 and Ritts Farm Road in Richland Township — at approximately 11:25 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, where they discovered a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado pickup stuck in the mud in the lower portion of the yard. Tire tracks had gone through the grass, and an animal pen before the pickup was also stuck in the mud.
A man, later identified as Jerrold “Jerry” E. DeHart, 39, of Turkey City, was observed in the back of an ambulance departing for Clarion Hospital, police said. EMTs reportedly told police that DeHart was found in the debris of the animal pen.
DeHart, a Keystone High School graduate with ties to the Union School District area, was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later due to trauma in the head, neck and torso, reports state.
At the scene, a man — who reports state was later identified as Davenport by a suspended driver’s license — approached police and allegedly admitted to driving the Silverado.
Davenport reportedly told police that he was coming from a bar where he had “several shots of liquor” before leaving. His passenger, Tabitha D. Walker who reportedly owned the vehicle, explained that Davenport was driving her home because he “was the more sober of the two,” police said.
The vehicle also struck Heather M. Haynos of Turkey City, who suffered serious injuries to her leg and head, according to reports. Haynos told police that she and DeHart were inside the animal pen when the truck hit them.
Through an investigation, police said it was determined that Davenport was traveling south on Route 338 when he lost control of the Silverado on a curve in the roadway. The truck reportedly made initial contact with the animal pen and struck DeHart, before continuing south and striking Haynos. The vehicle then became stuck in the mud. Police said tire marks at the scene indicated that Davenport was trying to get the vehicle out of the mud after becoming stuck.
Davenport allegedly showed signs of impairment while completing field sobriety tests, and his blood alcohol level was 0.176 percent, more than twice the legal limit.
Charges against Davenport were filed July 9 with the office of District Judge Amy Long Turk.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 6.