Tow driver: Brakes not beers to blame in Pa. death

September 14, 2012 6:15:34 AM PDT
A Pennsylvania tow truck driver says mechanical problems are to blame for the death of a woman he hit with her own car, not the four or five beers he drank before being dispatched to help her.

Robert Wickham acknowledged drinking the 24-ounce beers before arriving to help 55-year-old Denise Polinchak on a snowy March 2011 evening in Plains Township, Luzerne County.

But Wickham told the jury Thursday the car's faulty brakes and Polinchak's failure to heed his warning to move away are the reasons for her death. He says he threw two more unopened beers over a snow bank after backing into Polinchak only because he was scared.

Wickham faces vehicular homicide and DUI charges.

The jury began deliberating after Wickham's testimony. Deliberations are set to restart Friday.