HOLLIDAYSBURG - An 18-year-old Cambria County man will serve at least 3 years in jail and 10 years on probation in connection with a 2010 fatal traffic crash in Hollidaysburg.
Daniel P. Turous, of Vintondale, who was free on unsecured bail, emptied his pockets Monday morning in President Judge Jolene G. Kopriva's courtroom before leaving in the custody of sheriff deputies.
Kopriva denied him a week's reprieve to prepare.
"This is the day of reckoning," she said.
Turous was 17 years old on Sept. 25, 2010, when he drove a speeding vehicle into Hollidaysburg and lost control on Blair Street where the vehicle crashed into a parked police car, rolled onto its roof and skidded into two buildings. A passenger, Kelsey Lynn Miller, 16, Nanty Glo, a junior at Blacklick Valley High School, died in the crash from internal and head injuries.
Turous climbed out of the vehicle and fled, only to be arrested a short time later.
Assistant Public Defender Kristen Anastasi said Turous "has a history of panic and running" but has never denied blame and is unlikely to reoffend. Johnstown psychiatrist Richard Petroski diagnosed Turous with post-traumatic stress disorder resulting in flashbacks, Anastasi said.
"The images and guilt will be with him forever," she told the judge.
Turous, described by Petroski as someone who has trouble expressing himself, offered an almost inaudible apology in court, saying he was sorry and that if he could, he would go back and change what happened.
Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio asked Kopriva, on behalf of those affected by Turous' actions, to impose more jail time than the minimum three-year sentence recommended in the state's sentencing guidelines.
"He took a lot away from me," Frank Miller said about the loss of his daughter.
Hollidaysburg Borough Sgt. Rodney Estep, who was in the parked police car, said he was within 3 feet of death.
A few months ago, Consiglio proposed resolving the charges with a plea agreement imposing five to 10 years in jail. Turous rejected that and put his fate in the hands of judge by entering an open plea in March to homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, aggravated assault by vehicle, attempting to elude a police officer, recklessly endangering another person and driving under the influence.
"If he violates probation, he'll be back in jail," Consiglio said.
Kopriva told Turous that she would not consider less than three years in jail. She said she added six months to the three years in recognition of the people affected.
"Incarceration is about your punishment for taking a life," she said. "It's a recognition that what happened was terribly, terribly wrong."
Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.