Passenger charged in fatal; police said he yanked wheel in crash that killed Mount Carmel girl
SUNBURY - State police said a passenger in a vehicle that wrecked along Snydertown Road in July, killing the 18-year-old driver, is to blame for the accident.
Hasan Mustafa Abuomar, now 20, of 239 S. Hickory St., Mount Carmel, was charged Jan. 15 with homicide by vehicle and two counts of aggravated assault by vehicle, all of which are third-degree felony counts.
Abuomar is accused of grabbing the steering wheel of a 2001 Pontiac Sunfire driven by Marcelle R. Barber, of 15 State St., Mount Carmel, while they traveled east about 12:45 a.m. July 16 in Upper Augusta Township.
The car left the right side of the road, returned to the highway, slid across both lanes and rolled onto its driver side before coming to rest on its roof, police reported at the time of the accident.
Barber was pronounced dead at the scene.
A police affidavit likely providing more details about the accident and related charges was not available Wednesday from the office of Magisterial District Judge Benjamin Apfelbaum, Sunbury.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Jan. 29 before Apfelbaum.
Abuomar's attorney, Timothy A. Bowers, of Sunbury, joined by Sunbury attorney Kymberley Best in the defense, said Wednesday he anticipates the hearing will be held rather than simply waiving all charges to Northumberland County Court.
"We think there's a very good, very aggressive defense for Mr. Abuomar," Bowers said. "At this point, we do not look to entertain a plea agreement and we would look to move it to trial."
Ann Targonski, Northumberland County assistant district attorney, is handling the case for the commonwealth. Attempts to reach her late Wednesday afternoon were unsuccessful.
Additional misdemeanor charges filed by Trooper Mark Adams of state police at Stonington are involuntary manslaughter and three counts of recklessly endangering another person. Summary counts of reckless driving, careless driving and disregard traffic lane were also filed.
There were two other passengers in the vehicle at the time of the accident - Tyler J. Karycki, then 21, of Mount Carmel, and Brianna L. Bailey, then 18, of Kulpmont.
Both underwent emergency room treatment. Bailey's injuries are cited in the aggravated assault charge, while Karycki's injuries are cited in a reckless endangerment charge.
Barber and Bailey graduated from Mount Carmel Area High School in June and Karycki and Abuomar graduated from the school in 2011, district officials said at the time of the accident.
Barber was employed as a hostess at Mattucci's Willow Cafe in Mount Carmel.