It was a tragic accident in Belmont County that cost the passenger on a motorcycle her life. The driver is going to prison, after law enforcement took a closer look at what led to that accident.
David Allen Tarleton, 38 of Flushing, will spend nine years in prison for aggravated vehicular homicide.
Tarleton told officers he hit a deer, and that caused his motorcycle to crash. His passenger and friend, 45-year-old Kathy Kurusz, was killed. But an investigation turn up some additional facts--including that Tarleton was under the influence of both drugs and alcohol when he took that ride.
"Technically the deer hitting, striking the deer is what caused the accident, he was driving under the influence, he also was driving without a license, and he was driving a defective vehicle," said Assistant Prosecutor Helen Yonak. "He admitted to the Highway Patrol that the front tire did not have any brakes. And those three things went into the aggravated circumstances that led to the death of Ms. Kurusz."
Yonak says she feels the sentence is appropriate for the crime.
Tarleton was convicted for aggravated vehicular assault in 2002 in Harrison County, and another person was injured in that case.
Yonak said she is very pleased with the judge's decision.