Testimony: Suspended Officer had more than a Dozen Drinks before Fatal Crash
“Somebody is dead. That’s what I know.”
Cheryl Frey, 47, gave that response to PA State Police, when she was interviewed at UPMC Hamot, following a DUI crash the claimed the life of 57-year-old Wade Schulze.
On Wednesday, PA State Police Trooper Christopher Wingard played the audio recorded interview in court.
During the interview, Frey admitted to having several drinks on the night of the fatal accident.
Erie County Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Lightner then played surveillance videos that were taken from two McKean Township taverns.
The videos were recovered from the Saint Francis Ushers Club and the Valley Inn.
The videos show Frey consuming 13 alcoholic beverages in a five hour span, said Wingard.
The video at the Valley Inn then shows Frey stumble out of the bar and leave, about 10 minutes before the accident occurred.
Lightner says Frey's blood alcohol content level 0.232 percent, nearly triple the legal limit of 0.08 percent, when she crashed into a vehicle driven by Schulze.
Schulze died as a result of the crash, which happened on Route 99 in McKean Township, around 12:20 a.m. on February 18 of 2017.
Investigators say Schulze’s BAC was 0.11 percent.
While testimony revealed that both Frey and Schulze were legally drunk on the night of the collision, Lightner says Frey is the one who is at fault.
Frey’s lawyer Andrew Sisinni deferred his opening statement until after the Commonwealth presents its case.
In a previous hearing, Sisinni said that Schulze played a significant role in the crash.
Testimony continues on Friday morning, in front of Judge William Cunningham.