Hearings Scheduled for Pair Facing Homicide by Vehicle Charges in Fatal Jefferson County Crash

HENDERSON TWP., Pa. (EYT) – Hearings have been scheduled for two individuals facing homicide by vehicle and related charges stemming from a fatal crash that occurred in Henderson Township, Jefferson County.

According to court documents, 26-year-old Amber Dawn Hemphill and 36-year-old Michael John Brown, both of Punxsutawney, are both scheduled to stand for preliminary hearings in front of Magisterial District Judge David B. Inzana at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 24.

Hemphill faces the following charges:

  • Homicide By Vehicle, Felony 3
  • Aggravated assault by vehicle, Felony 3 (two counts)
  • Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Misdemeanor 2 (two counts)
  • Obedience to Traffic-Control Devices, Summary
  • Fail To Keep Right, Summary
  • Pass Left Unsafe, Summary
  • Pass When Prohibited, Summary
  • Disregard Traffic Lane (Single), Summary
  • Driving at Safe Speed, Summary
  • Exceed 55 MPH In Other Location By 49 MPH, Summary
  • Illegal Racing, Summary
  • Careless Driving, Summary
  • Reckless Driving, Summary
  • Give False Information, Summary

She remains free on $50,000.00 unsecured bail.

Brown faces the following charges:

  • Homicide By Vehicle, Felony 3
  • Aggravated assault by vehicle, Felony 3
  • Accident Involving Death/Person Injury-Not Properly Licensed, Felony 3
  • Recklessly Endangering Another Person S Give Way to the Right, Misdemeanor 2
  • Driving While Operator Privilege Suspended Or Revoked, Summary
  • Disregard Traffic Lane (Single), Summary
  • Driving at Safe Speed, Summary
  • Illegal Racing, Summary
  • Careless Driving, Summary
  • Reckless Driving, Summary

He also remains free on $50,000.00 unsecured bail.

The charges stem from a fatal crash that occurred on State Route 119 in September of 2017.

Around 12:23 a.m. on September 13, 2017, Corporal Wilson was dispatched to the area of State Route 119 between State Route 410 and Pike Road in Henderson Township, Jefferson County, in response to a report of a two-vehicle crash that occurred around 12:17 a.m., according to a criminal complaint.

Upon arrival and investigation, it was determined that a blue 2008 Subaru Forester operated by Amber Hemphill and a white 2007 Chrysler Pacifica operated by Michael Brown were both traveling south on State Route 119 at a high rate of speed when the crash occurred, the complaint states.

Hemphill was allegedly traveling south in the northbound lane in a no passing zone in the process of passing Brown when she lost control of her vehicle and entered the southbound lane, resulting in a two-vehicle rollover crash.

The complaint notes that at some point during the rollover, one of Brown’s passengers, 30-year-old Bradley Greenlee, was ejected from his vehicle.

Greenlee died as a result of injuries he suffered from the crash.

Brown also suffered serious injuries.

According to the complaint, during an interview, Hemphill related that while following her, Brown “brake checked” her multiple times. She stated that she began to pass Brown’s vehicle prior to the curve, but Brown sped up to prevent her from passing. Hemphill said she “ran out of room” and entered the curve where she lost control of her vehicle and also stated she was traveling at approximately 60 miles per hour at the time of the crash.

Around 8:52 a.m., Trooper Manno arrived at the scene and began a forensic mapping of the scene.

According to the complaint, Trooper Manno determined that minutes before the crash, video footage from a store showed the Pacifica stopped at a red light with the Subaru behind it, and the Pacifica then reversed gear and packed up, nearly striking the Subaru. Additional video from another store, one mile from the scene of the crash, showed the vehicles traveling between 55 miles per hour and 58 miles per hour just 300 feet from the apex of a sharp curve with a recommended speed of 40 miles per hour.

The complaint notes that Trooper Manno determined the Subaru to be traveling at 104 miles per hour when Hemphill lost control on the curve, and a minimum of 94 or 95 miles per hour at the time of impact. He determined the Pacifica was traveling at a minimum speed of 95 to 96 miles per hour just prior to impact and 94 to 95 miles per hour just after the impact with the Subaru.

The complaint indicates that the collision occurred due to both drivers, Hemphill and Brown, “traveling at a high rate of speed while racing/engaged in a road rage incident,” as Hemphill was attempting to pass Brown in a no passing zone on a blind curve.

The complaint also states that “either driver could have slowed and yielded the right of way to the other. Instead, they chose to increase their speeds, creating a very reckless and dangerous situation which led to the death of Bradley Greenlee.”

Based on the investigation, charges were filed against Hemphill and Brown on Tuesday, February 26, 2019.


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