SHAMOKIN DAM — A Maryland man will be charged with careless driving resulting in unintentional death and related charges as the result of a fatal crash which occurred July 9 along Route 15, near the Route 11 interchange, in Shamokin Dam.
According to information released by Shamokin Dam Police Department (SDPD) Chief Tim Bremigen, his department and the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) completed the investigation surrounding the crash involving a vehicle driven by John Wendt — who was fatally injured — and a tractor-trailer truck operated by Charles Bussard of Maryland.
During the course of the investigation, police analyzed GPS, on-board computer data from the vehicles, phone records, witness statements and medical information. The truck’s vehicle equipment was inspected by a specialist from the PSP.
Bussard’s vehicle was found to be operating at a speed of 37 mph and there was no braking at the time of impact. The brakes were inspected and were not found to be faulty. Officers did not reveal any items that would have resulted in distracted driving at the time of the crash and Bussard was not found to be operating under the influence of alcohol.
Officers spoke with a witness who had been following Bussard’s vehicle from the area of Winfield to the area of the crash. According to the witness Bussard’s vehicle was not speeding and was not observed crossing over the center or fog lines. Bussard’s on-board computer equipment detailed his speeds and braking movements and were consistent with the witness’s observations.
Bussard stated at the time of the crash he was not familiar with the area and was looking at traffic signs. Bussard said he did not see the vehicle until the point of impact.
Upon completing the investigation, SDPD met with the Snyder County DA’s office to discuss charges. Bussard will be charged with careless driving, carless driving resulting in unintentional death, following too closely and an inspection sticker violation. The vehicle was found to not have inspection violations, however the sticker was not up to date by a few months.