Jeanie Kubacki described her late husband, Frank, as a handyman who always had a smile on his face and loved to ride his motorcycle.
She could not hold back her emotions Friday afternoon as the Chartiers Township man whose pickup truck crashed into her husband’s motorcycle nearly two years ago pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and reckless driving.
Andrew Dunn, 28, agreed to plead guilty before Washington County Judge John DiSalle in exchange for prosecutors dropping a felony charge of vehicular homicide. Dunn was trying to pass a garbage truck in a no-passing zone along Route 18 in North Franklin Township when he hit Kubacki’s motorcycle head-on April 3, 2012.
DiSalle sentenced him to serve 3 to 23 months in Washington County jail, although he was granted work release in order to continue his job. Dunn also was ordered to pay $13,000 in restitution to Kubacki’s family for funeral expenses.
Assistant District Attorney Chad Schneider, who prosecuted the case, read the victim-impact statements, including a letter from Jeanie Kubacki. She described her husband of nearly 31 years as “always smiling and always in a good mood.”
“My life is a struggle every day knowing he is not coming back,” the letter read.
Kubacki, sitting with family members and members of the Red Knights Motorcycle Club, where her husband belonged, sobbed as Schneider continued.
“I would give anything just to hold his hand again or hear his truck back into the driveway,” the letter read.
Kubacki was a South Franklin volunteer firefighter for 26 years, Jeanie Kubacki said.
She heard a report of the crash over a police scanner in their home and described how her husband’s fellow volunteer firefighters who responded to the scene found him mortally injured.
“You, of course, forever changed the lives of Mr. Kubacki and his family, and also for you and your family.” DiSalle said to Dunn. “You have a brief snapshot of the life that was lost due to your negligence.”
Dunn, wearing a suit and with his hair neatly parted, appeared solemn as he looked down while listening to the judge.
“To say I’m sorry isn’t enough, even after today with all the legal actions that played out,” Dunn said. “This isn’t over for me. I’ll carry this weight for what I’ve done and the pain it’s caused. It should’ve been me who died.”
His defense attorney, Peter Marcoline, said Dunn spent six months in counseling following the crash. He noted that no drugs or alcohol were found in Dunn’s system after the crash, and that he was heading to work in Cameron, W.Va., that morning.
“Mr. Dunn accepts full responsibility and has accepted full responsibility since this accident occurred,” Marcoline said.
Dunn, who was flanked by his family in the courtroom, will be allowed to leave jail during the day to work as he tries to pay the restitution to Kubacki’s family. He has been free on $100,000 unsecured bond since the charges were filed and will report to the county jail Monday.