PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The trial is underway for the man accused of causing a fatal crash on Route 51 that claimed the life of a local retired businessman last year and injured four other people.
Opening statements began around 2 p.m. in trial of Robert Freund. Jury selection was held Tuesday morning.
Police say Freund was allegedly intoxicated and speeding when his car crossed a concrete median and crashed into an SUV last December.
James Posey, 60, of Brookline, died in the three-vehicle crash. He was a well-known businessman who operated several barbeque restaurants before retiring.
12-year-old Nia Posey testified she was in the passenger seat while her dad, James Posey as he drove on route 51 not far from the parkway west interchange almost a year ago.
Then a crash. When she woke up, she tried to revive everyone in the car but she couldn’t revive her father.
Christmas time reminds Gaye Posey of the night her husband was killed. He was driving his daughter and her cousins home for a sleepover.
“As you know it happened three days before Christmas,” said her mother Gaye Posey, “so instead of looking at presents we were actually looking for coffins.”
She testified she saw a car fish tailing and crossing the median. It hit the driver’s side.
Three of the people injured in the crash were Posey’s nieces.
The defense attorney argued to the jury in opening statements that other factors played a role in the accident.
Police said Freund failed a sobriety test.
He was held for trial back in January.
All Gaye Posey knows is the number of DUI related deaths is at 9,000 this year.
One of them she believes took the life of her husband James Posey.
“If a terrorist came and killed one third of those people, we would send our kids to war,” says the victim’s widow. “We would go into another country to battle someone who did to us what we’re allowing our own to do to us….every time you walk out the door there’s someone driving drunk on the roads. It could happen to any one of us at any moment.”
Testimony in this case could wrap up by the end of the week.
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Man Accused In Fatal Route 51 Crash To Stand Trial (1/31/14)
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