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Driver who struck fire chief with vehicle enters guilty plea

Published May 31. 2013 05:03PM

A Carbon County man, who struck a county fire chief as he was directing traffic at a charitable event and seriously injurying him, entered a guilty plea in the county court on Thursday.

Steven M. Schock, 37, of Lehighton, appeared before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II and pleaded guilty to one count each of aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence (DUI), and DUI.

Schock was charged for an incident on July 7, 2012, along Lentz Trail in Jim Thorpe. He was operating a United Parcel Service (UPS) van when he struck borough Fire Chief William H. Diehm.

Diehm was volunteering his time and directing traffic for the Race Street Run when he was struck by the van. Diehm suffered numerous broken bones, including a broken pelvis, broken arm, and broken tail bone. He was hospitalized for several weeks.

According to police Schock's van swerved into Diehm's vehicle that was parked off the south side of the eastbound lane and struck Diehm, who was standing next to his vehicle.

Schock showed signs of intoxication and was placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI. He was taken for a blood test which revealed a .15BAC.

Schock was originally charged with seven counts with the most serious being the aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, which is a felony two. In a plea bargain, the five remaining counts were dropped.

Diehm was in court for the proceeding but did not get a chance to testify.

At the request of Schock's defense counsel, attorney Angelo T. Almonti, Nanovic deferred sentencing so the adult probation office could prepare a presentence investigation report. Sentencing should occur in about 30 to 45 days.

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