2011-05-26 / Local & State

N.Y. Man Pleads Guilty In PennDOT Flagman’s Death

SMETHPORT, Pa. (AP) – A New York man has pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of prescription drugs and vehicular homicide when he struck two Pennsylvania Department of Transportation employees in October, killing one.

Forty-three-year-old Donald Blocher of Salamanca, N.Y. also pleaded guilty to several lesser charges Thursday before a McKean County judge in Smethport.

The Oct. 1 crash killed PennDOT flagman Jack Griffin and injuring another worker who was operating a construction saw.

State police say Blocher was returning home from a doctor’s appointment at a Pennsylvania hospital at the time of the crash in Foster Township, Bradford County. They say he was under the influence of eight drugs including valium, marijuana and three muscle relaxants.

The Bradford Era reports Blocher remained jailed unable to post $500,000 bail and will be sentenced June 9.

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