Driver charged in double fatal crash
A Nesquehoning man was arrested and arraigned Monday on multiple charges, including homicide by vehicle while under the influence, as a result of an Aug. 4 crash which killed two people.
Richard Mark Matsick, 47, was arraigned before District Judge Edward Lewis of Jim Thorpe, and taken to the Carbon County Correctional Facility in lieu of $100,000, 10 percent bail.
The charges were forwarded to District Judge Joseph Homanko of Weatherly, since the incident happened in Packer Township. Homanko is the magistrate who covers Packer.
A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 19, before Homanko.
Rebecca Ann Pilla, 44, a front seat passenger, and Richard L. Zabroski, 45, a rear passenger, both of Nesquehoning were killed in the incident, which happened between 3 and 4:25 a.m. on Fireline Road, a dirt road on the Broad Mountain.
Zabroski was a member of the Panther Valley School Board at the time.
Matsick was the driver of an SUV, a Toyota 4Runner, that crashed head-on into a tree, according to police. Another passenger, Julie Marie Williams, was injured.
Police said Matsick had a blood alcohol reading of .094 percent, which is above the legal limit of .08 percent.
In the affidavit, police said Williams informed them all four had been at the V.F.W. Post in Nesquehoning prior to the crash, consuming alcohol. They then decided to go "off-roading" together after leaving the V.F.W. between 2 and 2:30 a.m.
Initially Pilla drove from the V.F.W., and when they reached an unpaved road, Matsick took over. Police said Matsick "was traveling at a high rate of speed prior to the crash."
Police said Matsick told them he had consumed about eight beers while at the V.F.W. and that he was traveling between 50 and 55 mph prior to the crash.
Police said a trooper who did reconstruction of the accident scene put Matsick's speed between 54 and 63 mph prior to the collision.
Both Matsick and Williams were "severely injured" in the accident, the affidavit says.
Matsick was charged with two counts of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, two counts of homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle, two counts of DUI, two counts of involuntary manslaughter, three counts of recklessly endangering another person and one count of reckless driving.