Police: Man jumped from car; driver not charged
FOUNTAIN SPRINGS - Butler Township police have completed their investigation into a crash on Route 61 that claimed the life of a 25-year-old Ashland man, who police say jumped from the car before it crashed.
Sean Harris was a passenger inside a car driven by Jack Larizzio, also of Ashland, and died at the scene of the 12:30 p.m. crash Nov. 14, 2012.
Police Lt. Daniel Holderman said the investigation determined that Harris jumped from the car before the crash.
"We determined that Mr. Harris opened the door and jumped prior to the crash," Holderman said. "He died of injuries he suffered due to jumping from the car and not from the crash."
Holderman said it was also determined that Larizzio had a "coughing spell" that caused him to apparently lose consciousness and subsequently lose control of the car.
Holderman said Larizzio had normal levels on both alcohol and toxicology tests taken after the crash and that an emergency room physician who examined him concurred with the coughing episode.
"Can coughing cause unconsciousness? The medical professionals we spoke with said it can," Holderman said.
Holderman said the crash occurred while Larizzio was driving south, about a half-mile north of the entrance to North Schuylkill High School, and left his lane of travel, crossing the northbound lane and striking a mailbox.
The car continued north until it struck a pickup truck owned by James Neumeister, of Fountain Springs, that was parked near Neumeister's home.
After hitting the truck, Holderman said the car spun around and struck a pile of wood in front of Neumeister's home and came to a stop facing north.
Harris was found lying on the northbound lanes of Route 61 next to a U.S. Postal Service delivery truck. The truck was being driven by mail carrier Donna Shuder, of Ashland, who was outside the vehicle delivering mail to homes in the area.
Holderman said the investigation into the crash is complete and that no charges will be filed against Larizzio.