State College man gets prison for 2009 DUI crash that injured passenger

cpassante@centredaily.comJanuary 30, 2014 

A State College man will spend up to three years behind bars after a Centre County judge sentenced him for injuring a woman while driving drunk and then fleeing the scene of the crash.

Alex Brown, 25, was sentenced to 141/2 to 351/2 months in the Centre County Correctional Facility, followed by four years of probation.

He was convicted in November on charges including aggravated assault while DUI, accidents involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed, and summary offenses.

Brown was at a party on Nov. 14, 2009, in a Park Forest home when he decided to “go on a joyride” around the neighborhood in his uninsured Nissan with a female passenger, according to a District Attorney’s Office news release.

Brown, who already had his license suspended from a previous DUI, lost control of his car when speeding through a sharp turn on North Oak Lane. He wrapped the car around a telephone pole, which was sheared off, according to the news release.

His passenger, whose name was withheld, was pinned inside the car, coughing up blood and suffering life-threatening internal bleeding from a lacerated spleen and lung.

Brown asked the woman if she could get out of the car, and she replied “no,” according to the release. Brown ran back to the house party, and left the woman trapped inside the wreckage, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors said that a neighbor heard the crash and called 911. When police arrived, the woman was still trapped in the car and seriously injured, police said. Friends from the house party came to the scene, but not Brown. The passenger and friends, however, refused to identify Brown as the driver.

Police said they finally located Brown at the house where the party was being held, where he said he was sleeping and knew nothing about the crash.

Brown eventually confessed to drinking and driving, and he told police he lied because he was worried about the consequences of his actions regarding the military, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Police performed a sobriety test, which Brown failed. His blood-alcohol content was 0.084 percent, which is above the legal limit, police said. Prosecutors said that his blood-alcohol content could have been as high as 0.114 percent when the crash occurred.

Judge Jonathan Grine presided over the case Wednesday.

“Though the defendant ran to avoid personal responsibility, the justice system has held him accountable,” District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said in the release.

Follow Christopher Passante on Twitter @ChrisPassanteCDT.

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