GREENE COUNTY, PA (WTRF) — A 911 dispatcher stands trial on a misdemeanor manslaughter charge from the 2020 death of a woman, according to a report by the Observer-Reporter.
Leo Price, 50, of Waynesburg was the 911 dispatcher who allegedly refused an ambulance to a woman.
During the preliminary hearing on December 19, Senior District Judge Robert Redlinger stated the charge along with misdemeanors of reckless endangerment and obstruction of court. Official records stated that one misdemeanor charge of official oppression was dismissed.
Diania Kronk, 54, died on July 2, 2020 after her two children called 911 begging for assistance the day before. Price refused to help their mother.
Court records in October stated that during the fated call Price told Kronk’s daughter he would not send emergency services as he didn’t know if Kronk would agree to any treatment.
Greene County District Attorney David Russo stated that this incident was a tragedy and should never have occurred. He was certain the community deserved better and that no service should be denied to anyone requesting emergency services.
The case also included three Greene County emergency officials will stand trial on misdemeanor charges of tampering with public records and obstruction of justice: Gregory Leathers, Robert “Jeff” Rhodes and Richard Policz.
Redlinger dismissed felony conspiracy charges and two misdemeanor counts against the three men.
The latest meeting allowed the Kronk adult children to testify the events from July 1. Robert Kronk explained his mother’s issues with mental health in her Browns Creek home near Sycamore that day. He stated that his mother was incoherent, making strange noises and turning yellow.
Robert told his sister, Kelly Titchenell, about their mother and she called 911. Robert Kronk could not call due to poor cell reception.
In court records, Price allegedly refused to send an ambulance without assurance that Kronk would go willingly for treatment.
Robert Kronk stated that he waited a few more hours, but went back to his mobile home on the property when help didn’t arrive.
He returned about 11 a.m. the next day and found that his mother had died. Authorities found that the cause of death was internal bleeding.
Denise Desmet, a former 911 operator is now acting as a whistleblower. She previously testified that Price made the choice to not send services to Kronk, and she explained that decision was not his to make citing the 911 dispatch training.
Desmet stated, according to reports, that as a dispatcher, time is the most important and that their job is to make the call to EMS.
On a $15,000 unsecured bond, Price is free. He is awaiting formal arraignment in common pleas court.