Two people are facing charges stemming from an alcohol-related accident in May that killed three young men when their pickup truck drove off a road into a pond in South Mahoning, Indiana County.
Larry P. Pompelia, 58, is charged with tampering with or fabricating evidence and unsworn falsification to authorities, and Karly Ann Good, 22, has been charged with a count each of selling/furnishing alcohol to minors and furnishing alcohol to certain persons.
Pennsylvania State Police in the Indiana barracks said the men -- Sean J. Titus, 20, of Butler; Zane Michael McMillen, 19, of Kittanning; and Cody Allen Brink-Douglas, 19, of North Buffalo -- attended a party on private property behind 2148 McMillen Road in Rayburn on May 4 when they decided about 10 p.m. to go to the Final Score Saloon in Rural Valley to get beer.
Police said Titus was driving the truck up a dirt access road leading back to the party just before 12:30 a.m. May 5 when they crashed into a pond. The truck immediately rolled onto its roof, trapping the men.
Several individuals at the party dived into the pond and used hammers and crow bars to break the windows, but rescue attempts were futile, police said.
Indiana County Coroner Jerry Overman drew blood from the victims at the scene showing that Titus had a blood alcohol level of .106, McMillen .099 and Douglas .063.
According to state police criminal complaint, Mr. Pompelia showed police bar surveillance video that appeared to have gaps in footage. When he was asked to download the content to a CD, it contained none of the footage police had previously reviewed.
Police asked Mr. Pompelia to download the footage again, and he told them the images were gone and that he would need help. At the time the charges were filed, Mr. Pompelia still had not produced another video, police said.
Investigators also asked for receipts from that evening. Mr. Pompelia gave them six, including one for Titus. He said in an interview that the three didn't drink while inside the bar and weren't inside long enough to get drunk, according to the complaint.
"Based upon his experience, this behavior was an effort to hide investigative information," Trooper Jason Morgan wrote.
Mr. Pompelia said focusing on his business was a mistake.
"I'm fed up with this whole situation," he said. "I'm tired of it. Our bar had nothing to do with it."
Ms. Good said she was the only bartender at the time and that all drinks or food that the underage men consumed during the evening would have come from her.
A woman who identified herself as Ms. Good's mother said the family had no comment.
Families of the young men could not be reached.
State Liquor Control Board records show the bar had been previously cited and fined $1,250 for giving alcohol to a 19-year-old.
Kaleb Baum, a friend of the underage men who was interviewed by state police on the scene, said he had multiple text/phone conversations with Brink-Douglas indicating that the men had become "wasted" and requested a ride from the bar, but Mr. Baum said he could not assist.
"Obviously, anytime you have a death of three young individuals, you want to know how this happened, or why this happened, and [drinking at the bar] was clearly a contributing factor," Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said.
Kelton Brooks: firstname.lastname@example.org First Published July 15, 2013 12:45 AM