NW Pa. man acquitted in fatal 2011 crash

ERIE, Pa. (AP) – A northwestern Pennsylvania man has been acquitted of all charges in the death of a 13-year-old girl struck along with another teenager as they crossed the road to board a school bus.

The Erie Times-News reports that Erie County jurors took only a half-hour Wednesday to find 21-year-old Tyler Festa not guilty of homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.

Judge John Trucilla then immediately cleared Festa of three summary traffic violations in the December 2011 crash that killed Ashley Clark in Summit Township.

Defense attorney Peter Sala said his reaction was “relief.” He argued that his client was traveling well below the speed limit and the children were crossing illegally. Prosecutors said Festa should have stopped once he saw bus slowing.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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