A New Florence man was sentenced Wednesday in Westmoreland County court to five to 15 years in state prison on his guilty pleas in a 2009 traffic accident in which a Somerset County teen was killed.
Brandon G. Behie, 25, broke into sobs and expressed remorse for the accident during the hearing as he pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide while driving under the influence and related offenses.
Judge Rita Hathaway said she hoped that the fatal accident would be a lesson to the public on the dangers of drinking at parties and bars and then driving home while under the influence of alcohol.
The accident victim was 15-year-old John Blough of Hollsopple, who died March 28, 2009, when the car in which he was riding was hit from behind on Route 30 in Ligonier Township near the Laughlintown Bridge.
Blough, a North Star High School freshman, was a wrestler, football player and an honor roll student. Nearly 100 of his family members and friends – including classmates wearing gray T-shirts bearing his name and the dates of his birth and death – attended, according to published reports.
Behie’s blood-alcohol level was 0.189 percent, more than twice the 0.08 percent level defined as intoxication in Pennsylvania.
Behie’s pickup crashed into the Chevrolet Lumina in which Blough was riding in the rear seat.
The Lumina was one of two vehicles stopped for a traffic light. The occupants of both were traveling back to Somerset County from a Britney Spears concert in Pittsburgh.