Man sentenced for assault by vehicle

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WAYNESBURG – Greene County Judge Farley Toothman sentenced Douglas Barton Hapchuk, 27, of 1587 E. Roy Furman Highway, Carmichaels, to 9 to 23 ½ months in jail Wednesday following his guilty plea to two counts each of assault by vehicle, accidents resulting in injury or death and accidents involving damage to an attended vehicle. He had five additional summary traffic violations.


On Oct. 9, 2012, Hapchuck’s vehicle struck the rear of a car driven by Julie Bakewell of Carmichaels while traveling west on Route 21 near the Carmichaels Clinic. Bakewell’s vehicle then traveled into the eastbound lane and collided with a vehicle driven by Ruth Fluharty, of Nemacolin.


Bakewell was flown to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. She was treated for a broken femur and underwent multiple surgeries. Fluharty was flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va., and subsequently placed in a nursing home due to her injuries.


Hapchuk abandoned his car on West George Street at the time of the accident and fled into a nearby field. He turned himself in on Oct. 11 to Cumberland Township police. Police said Hapchuk told them he panicked and admitted to drinking at the American Legion prior to the accident.


He was also ordered to pay restitution of $50,569.71 to the law firm of Gibson and Sharps and $537 to Bakewell. Hapchuk is also required to perform 250 hours of community service and pay fines of $1,800 plus court costs and fees.


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