Driver in fatal crash charged with homicide
The driver of a pickup truck that traveled over an embankment in Sayre in September, killing a passenger, has been charged with homicide by vehicle by Sayre borough police.
Karmie Irene Macbride, 19, of Milan, has also been charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, driving under the influence of a controlled substance, failure to stop at a stop sign, speeding, careless driving and driving on the left side of the roadway while approaching an intersection, according to a criminal affidavit filed by borough police with Magisterial District Judge Michael Shaw's office.
Macbride was arraigned Thursday by Judge Shaw and remanded to the Bradford County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 27.
Macbride was the operator of a gold 1996 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck that traveled down an embankment at about 2:25 p.m. Sept. 25 across from the intersection of Cayuta Street and Ellistown Road.
Thomas Warren Walker, Jr., 21, of Gillett was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by Bradford County coroner Tom Carman. Macbride and another passenger, 18-year-old Asia Nero, were injured and had to be extricated from the truck.
Police said an officer patrolling the area Sept. 25 saw the truck traveling south on Ellistown Road at a high rate of speed in the northbound lane. Police said the truck failed to stop at the intersection, hit a concrete curb on the south side of Cayuta Street and became airborne.
The vehicle then struck several trees as it traveled down the embankment, landing in a wooded area about 60 feet below the roadway, police said.
Police assisted Macbride and Nero out of the vehicle, but were unable to remove Walker due to the damage done to the vehicle, police said. According to police, officers did not feel a pulse on Walker at the time. A report from Carman later confirmed Walker's death as a homicide caused by positional asphyxia, police said.
Police said Macbride told officers at the scene that she believed the truck's brakes or accelerator had malfunctioned. Macbride repeated the statement during an interview later that day with police at Robert Packer Hospital, where she and Nero were transported for treatment, police said. Macbride also told police she had not done drugs that day, police said.
During a Sept. 26 interview with police at the hospital, Nero admitted to police that the three had smoked synthetic marijuana before the accident, police said. Nero said Walker had purchased the synthetic marijuana at a store in Waverly, police said.
Nero told police Macbride picked Walker and her up in East Smithfield, according to police. Macbride had her son with her at the time, Nero told police.
Nero said the group then traveled to Chemung, N.Y. to leave Macbride's son with a sitter and to visit Walker's mother, then drove to Waverly to purchase the synthetic marijuana, police said. The three then smoked it in the vehicle while driving around, ending up on Ellistown Road, police said.
Nero told police Macbride turned the vehicle around once it became apparent the road was a dead end, traveling down the hill at a high rate of speed, police said. Nero told police that both she and Walker told Macbride to slow down, police said.
During a second interview with police, Macbride admitted that the three had been smoking synthetic marijuana, police said. A plastic bottle used to smoke the marijuana was found during a search of the truck, and a sample of Macbride's blood taken at the hospital later tested positive for the presence of cannabinoids, police said.
State police conducted an analysis and reconstruction of the accident and determined that the truck had traveled down the hill at a minimum of 55 miles per hour and that Macbride failed to stop the vehicle at the stop sign, police said.
State police also inspected the vehicle, which police said was not found to have any mechanical defects.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: email@example.com.