Robert Allen Goodrow III is charged with homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle, reckless endangerment and numerous other traffic offenses. The charges come from a June 5 ATV accident that cost a 17-year-old her life.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, police were called out on June 5 to 21st Street in Clearfield at around 4:50 p.m. for a report of a motor vehicle accident. When officers arrived, they saw a woman walking on the roadway holding her face. She was the driver a Dodge truck that was involved in the accident. Police noted the truck she was driving as well as a 2008 Suzuki Quadracer ATV. Both were in the right-hand lane of travel, with the truck to the far right of its proper lane. The ATV was sideways in the truck’s lane of travel. A passenger from the truck was also on the roadway.
Officer Julie Wehler went to the left side of the truck, where officer Charles Marshall was alread located. Laying on the road, covered by a blue towel, was the 17-year-old girl. Police noted that she was not moving; the driver of the truck told them that she checked for a pulse, but could not find one.
Marshall tended to a man on the ground who was attempting to get up, screaming in pain. He was later identified as Robert Goodrow III. According to the affidavit, he had obvious injuries to his leg and was complaining of back and neck pain. Marshall held his head in an attempt to keep him from moving his neck. Wehler also assisted Marshall in this effort until emergency medical services arrived. The patients were then turned over to the EMT’s. Goodrow was then flown to Altoona, and from there UPMC in Pittsburgh.
Marshall then spoke to the driver of the truck. She told him she was traveling on 21st Street when her husband told her to be careful, as he could see a dust cloud coming toward them. They were unable to clearly see the vehicle coming toward them, but the driver said she began to slow down and pull to the right side of the road to make room for the oncoming vehicle. She said before she could see the vehicle, the collision occurred.
Both the Dodge driver and her husband were provided with written statement forms to be completed at a later time. The driver needed medical attention for a broken nose suffered in the accident. Wehler received the statements on June 6. Both the driver and her husband were interviewed separately.
The driver indicated that she had family who lived along the road. She said that she and her husband, as well as two of their children, went to pick up their niece so they could go swimming. She said she went down 21st Street and that eventually her husband took over driving duties due to the muddy road conditions. They then went swimming, and her husband turned the driving duties back over to her after they cleared the muddy area on the road. She said they were traveling down 21st Street when she saw a cloud of dust. She moved the truck to the right and saw a dark flash as the ATV collided with the truck. She told police that she was unable at that time to make out what she had come into contact with.
She said she exited the truck and saw it was an ATV, then tended to the injured. Her husband confirmed her statement in his own statment. He said when he he saw the ATV, he found his cell phone and called 911.
On June 5, police, Clearfield County Deputy Coroner Mike Polachek and a state police accident reconstructionist were at the scene of the accident. At 5:50 p.m.,the girl was declared deat at the scene. An autopsy was performed on June 7 at the JC Blair Memorial Hospital. Dr. Hary Kamerow determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma due to a motor vehicle accident. The affidavit states that she suffered a fatal skull fracture as well as a fatal laceration to her liver, as well as other wounds.
The state police reconstructionist concluded that the collission was an operator error on the part of Goodrow. According to the affidavit, he was traveling in the wrong lane of travel between speeds of 30-50 MPH. The trooper determined the speed was unsafe for that particuar road and this negligence resulted in the girl’s death.