LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) – A Jonestown man will serve up to six years in prison for a drunk driving crash in Lebanon County that killed a Central Dauphin High School student in 2018.
Richard L. Via, 64, was sentenced Wednesday to a term of 3-6 years in state prison, followed by six years probation. He must also pay restitution of $8,851 for funeral costs.
Authorities said Via had a blood-alcohol content of .201%, more than twice the legal limit, after he struck Harrison Fenstemaker’s motorcycle on the evening of Sept. 15, 2018.
Via told police he drank some beers after playing golf with friends. He said he believed he was okay to drive but “didn’t know what to do” when he saw Fenstemaker’s motorcycle coming his way on Route 443 in East Hanover Township, according to the criminal complaint.
Police said Via was driving a 2017 Hyundai Sonata that crossed the center line into the oncoming lane of travel. He attempted to return to the proper lane but struck Fenstemaker’s Yamaha V-Star as the 17-year-old swerved left to avoid the collision.
Fenstemaker, a 12th-grade student and football player at Central Dauphin, was thrown from the motorcycle and died at the scene.
Via pleaded guilty in October to homicide by vehicle while DUI and a dozen related charges.