Milesburg man receives jail time for hit-and-run crash that injured State College worker

A Milesburg man who pleaded guilty to hitting a State College public works employee with a Hummer and fleeing was sentenced Tuesday to a county prison sentence and was ordered to pay more than $429,000 in restitution.

James Waters-Maddox, 30, was driving about 70-80 mph in June when he hit a motorized painting machine near the intersection of East Beaver Avenue and Sowers Street, borough police said.

The public works employee was “thrown from the machine” about 15 feet, police said. He was treated at Mount Nittany Medical Center and Geisinger Medical Center for a fractured right ankle, lower left leg, a partial hip dislocation and subdural hematoma.

He cannot stand for long periods of time, climb stairs and is still rehabbing his injuries with the hope of being able to walk unassisted. The crash changed his his mental, physical and financial life “forever,” he said.

“I just would like to apologize to the court and the victim himself. I’m so deeply sorry,” Waters-Maddox said. “… I accept full responsibility and I’m so sorry.”

Waters-Maddox’s blood alcohol content was 0.239% — nearly three times the legal threshold for DUI, police said.

He pleaded guilty in September to one felony count of aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, one misdemeanor count of DUI and two summary traffic citations.

Defense lawyer Philip Masorti railed against the dangers of drinking and driving and the amount of alcohol that is consumed in downtown State College after the hearing. The collateral consequences of drunk driving are “mind-boggling,” he said.

“It’s not all about the dollar. When you really think about these things, it seems to come down to the money that can be made by serving people alcohol when they clearly and absolutely don’t deserve and should not be served anymore,” Masorti said. “I’m not making excuses, but I think, as a public policy, that’s probably where we can do more.”

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Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.