New Castle News

September 5, 2013

Suspect in fatal motorcycle crash heading to court

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — A woman believed to have been texting when she hit a motorcycle, killing its driver, is heading to court.

Former Volant resident Laura E. Gargiulo, 43, who now lives at 119 Dodds Road, Butler, is charged with homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, prohibition of text-based communications, careless driving, reckless driving and aggravated assault by vehicle.

A charge of accident involving damage to attended vehicle or property was withdrawn.

Gargiulo was charged following an accident involving a motorcycle driven by Daniel E. Gallatin, 68, of Scott Township.

She remains free on $50,000 bond.

Gargiulo left Lawrence County Central Court Wednesday without comment to gathered news media.

Her attorney, John J. Zagari of Pittsburgh, said Wednesday was the first opportunity for his client to express to the community her remorse “for the horrible accident that occurred. We are sorry for that.

“She is remorseful and we sympathize with the victim and his family for their loss.”

However, Zagari declined to comment on the possibility his client had been texting when the accident took place.

“I won’t comment on that at this time,” he said. “This is not the time or place.”

Also present for the hearing were five members of the New Castle Area Honor Guard and representatives of Christian motorcycle clubs. Gallatin had been a long-time member of both organizations.

According to police, Gallatin was eastbound on Route 956, Hickory Township, about 1:30 p.m. May 7, slowed to make a turn and his motorcycle was hit from behind by Gargiulo’s vehicle.

Police said Gallatin and the bike were dragged for about 100 feet under Gargiulo’s vehicle.