ExploreJefferson: Mother Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter in Crash that Killed Her 11-year-old Daughter

Heather Dawn Adams (Photo courtesy of ExploreJefferson)

BROOKVILLE (EYT) – A Clarion woman has been charged in a December of 2016 accident on Route 322 that resulted in the death of her 11-year-old daughter.

Punxsutawney-based state police say 31-year-old Heather Dawn Adams – a passenger in the vehicle – was charged with the following offenses today at Magisterial District Judge Gregory M. Bazylak’s office:

  • Involuntary Manslaughter, Felony 2
  • Permitting Violation of Title Under the Influence, Felony 2 (four counts)
  • Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense (three counts)
  • Permitting violation of title – Homicide By Vehicle, Felony 3
  • Permitting violation of title – Accident Involving Death/Injury-Not Properly Licensed, Felony 3 (three counts)
  • Permitting violation of title – DUI: Gen Imp/Inc of Driving Safely – 1st Off, Misdemeanor (two counts)
  • Accident Involving Death/Injury-Not Properly Licensed, Misdemeanor 2 (two counts)
  • Permit Unlicensed Driver, Summary
  • Driving Without A License, Summary
  • Fail To Keep Right, Summary
  • Disregard Traffic Lane (Single), Summary
  • Driving at Safe Speed, Summary
  • Careless Driving, Summary
  • Reckless Driving, Summary
  • Failure to Use Safety Belt – Driver and Front Seat Occupant, Summary
  • Failure to Use Safety Belt – Driver and Vehicle Occupant, Summary (four counts)
  • Give False Information, Summary

Adams was placed in the Jefferson County Jail after failing to post $100,000 cash bail.

She faces a preliminary hearing on May 2 at 10:30 a.m. before Judge Bazylak.


On March 15, involuntary manslaughter, homicide by vehicle and other related charges, were filed against the driver of the vehicle – Mark Anthony Andrus of Shippenville.

He was arraigned at 11 a.m. March 15 in front of Bazylak.

A preliminary hearing slated for March 21 in front of Bazylak was continued to May 2.

He remains lodged in the Jefferson County Jail on $100,000 cash bail.


According to Punxsutawney-based state police, the two-vehicle fatal crash occurred around 6:57 p.m. Dec. 9, 2016, on Route 322, at Country Club Road, in Union Township, Jefferson County.

State police say a 2002 blue Dodge Neon was traveling west on Route 322 and its driver – Mark Andrus – lost control of it on the snow-covered roadway.

The car spun in a counterclockwise direction into the oncoming path of a 2016 Silver Chevrolet Tahoe – driven by 48-year-old Tina Ann Carrier, of Brookville – which was traveling eastbound on Route 322.

The entire left passenger side of the Neon impacted with the right front portion of the Tahoe in the eastbound travel lane of Route 322.

After impact, the Tahoe remained in contact with the Neon, pushing it sideways into a utility pole. The driver’s side portion of the Neon impacted the utility pole, according to state police.

Andrus was treated at Penn Highlands Brookville Hospital for unknown injuries.

A front seat passenger in Andrus’ car – Heather Adams, of Clarion – was transported to UPMC Presbyterian for serious injuries.

Adams’ 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter, both of Big Run, were transported to Children’s Hospital for serious injuries.

Her 11-year-old daughter, also of Big Run, was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Jefferson County Coroner’s office.

Carrier was not injured.

Andrus’ Blood-Alcohol Content Level (BAC) at the time of the crash allegedly was .160 – twice the legal limit in Pennsylvania.

State police say Adams initially claimed to be the driver in the accident; however, she later admitted that Andrus was operating the vehicle.

Additional details on this case will be published tomorrow on www.exploreClarion.com and www.exploreJeffersonPA.com.

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