Police: Jefferson County Woman Attempts to Ram into Ex-Husband’s Car, Crashes into Wall
Court documents indicate the Brookville Borough Police Department filed the following criminal charges against 35-year-old Sara E. Burtner, of Brookville:
– Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 2 (four counts)
– Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Misdemeanor 2 (two counts)
– Criminal Attempt – Criminal Mischief – Damage Property, Misdemeanor 2
– Careless Driving, Summary
– Reckless Driving, Summary
– Turning Movements and Required Signals, Summary
– Disregard Traffic Lane (Single), Summary
– Driving at Safe Speed, Summary
According to a criminal complaint, around 6:53 a.m. on Friday, May 10, Officer Turnbull, of the Brookville Borough Police Department, received a request to respond to Allegheny Boulevard near Sheetz for an incident in which a woman crashed during an alleged attempted to hit her ex-husband’s vehicle. While preparing to respond, Officer Turnbull was informed the incident occurred near the intersection of South White Street and Valley Street.
Officer Turnbull arrived in the area and observed damage to the northern retaining wall on West Main Street, as well as damage to two street signs, one of which was lying on the roadway approximately 20 feet from its original placement. There was also a black vehicle fender on the embankment.
Officer Turnbull then met with a woman on Main Street who reported she had been in the accident.
According to the complaint, the woman, later identified as Sara E. Burtner, reported that she “must have gone around the turn too fast” and “lost control.”
Officer Turnbull noted the front passenger side of the vehicle – a black 2012 Buick station wagon – had a fender missing, the front passenger side bumper was damaged, and there were long scratches down the front passenger side door, which was consistent with the damage observed at the intersection. He also noted the front and back tires on the vehicle appeared to be newer with good tread on them.
The complaint notes that when Officer Turnbull informed Burtner that he didn’t understand how she could have lost control and impacted the embankment that hard, she continued to report that she had simply lost control.
At that time, a known male walked down the sidewalk toward Officer Turnbull, and Officer Turnbull went to speak to the man away from Burtner in order to avoid conflict.
According to the complaint, the man, identified as Burtner’s ex-husband, reported that he and his girlfriend had been at a nearby bus stop when Burtner showed up and confronted him. He noted that he did not believe the bus driver heard or saw the dispute.
According to the complaint, the man reported that this issue had been escalating since Burtner found out he had a girlfriend, and he proceed to showed Officer Turnbull more than a dozen missed/blocked calls from Burtner’s phone number on May 9. He reported that he and his girlfriend were in his vehicle stopped at the steady red light at the intersection of South White Street and Main Street in the left turning lane on South White Street. Burtner had her window down and was yelling toward his vehicle, but the man noted that he had the windows to his vehicle up so that Burtner “could not spit on or otherwise attempt to harm his girlfriend.”
The man reported that Burtner then accelerated rapidly and cut his vehicle off, noting that he had to hit the brakes to avoid a collision with her vehicle. The complaint notes the man stated that he felt that Burtner was trying to strike his vehicle, and he was in such fear that be began to put his vehicle into reverse, as he believed Burtner was going to “reverse into him” after having hit the embankment.
Officer Turnbull requested written statements from the man and his girlfriend regarding the incident.
Officer Turnbull then returned to speak with Burtner again and informed her that he did not believe she had been honest about the incident.
According to the complaint, Burtner stated that she was in the northbound lane to go home, and then decided she needed gas, so she cut across the lane of traffic to get to the gas station, causing her to lose control and strike the embankment.
Officer Turnbull then informed her that he would be seeking charges and sending the case to the District Attorney’s Office for review.
Around 10:52 a.m. on May 10, Officer Turnbull received copies of the 9-1-1 calls made by both Burtner and the victim. In the recordings, the victim reported Burtner’s attempt to strike his vehicle and sounded distressed, according to the complaint.
Officer Turnbull also received written statements from the victim and his girlfriend on May 10 which were consistent with the information provided at the scene.
The complaint notes that Officer Turnbull received a notice from the Jefferson County District Attorney on May 11 regarding a list of recommended charges which were subsequently filed on Tuesday, May 14, in Magisterial District Judge Gregory M. Bazylak’s office.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, with Judge Bazylak presiding.
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