Man Charged in Deadly DUI Crash

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SWOYERSVILLE -- A man faces a charge of vehicular homicide while driving drunk for a crash earlier this year in Luzerne County that killed a passenger in his pickup truck.

It's not his first DUI charge for the driver.

John Payne of Luzerne surrendered Monday morning to face a charge of vehicular homicide while DUI.

Police say Payne was drunk in January when he crashed his pickup in Pringle. A passenger died in the wreck.

Payne was led out of his arraignment at a magistrate's office in Swoyersville. He faces charges of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence, as well as reckless driving and related charges.

The crash in Pringle killed Kevin Sendrick in January. The man from Swoyersville was a passenger in Payne's pickup truck when it wrecked on Division Street.

According to court papers, Payne swerved to avoid another vehicle.

Medical records show Payne had a blood-alcohol level of .251 at the time. That's more than three times the legal limit.

After Payne's arraignment, he asked for forgiveness.

"Are you sorry about what happened?"

"I most certainly am," Payne replied.

"It's a difficult case because it's a tragic event where the victim was a very good friend of John's, but that still doesn't change the fact John is entitled to a defense," said Payne's lawyer Peter Moses.

At the arraignment, police said this is Payne's sixth DUI.

6 comments

  • RICK

    THIS SCUMBAG HAD TO BE DRIVING WITHOUT A LICENSE OR INSURANCE. ALL VEHICLES SHOULD BE EQUIPED WITH AN ANTI DRUNK DRIVING DEVIC

  • BZ22

    This is just one more example of the total failure of our legal and justice system. Just how is someone still on the road after three DUI’s, let alone six? When does someone determine enough is enough? Some judges should have to answer for this or just more Luzerne Co. and who you know!

  • MisterPL

    Apparently PA drivers get an unlimited number of chances to DUI. It’s only when someone dies that courts finally take notice.

    Why bother with DUI laws when they’re clearly uninforced and so ineffective? I guess it’s all about making money rather than saving lives.

    • tiredofhypsychos

      That’s what I was just thinking when I read this! “At the arraignment, police said this is Payne’s sixth DUI,” How many times do they get away with it? Until someone’s dead I guess! Horrifying!

  • gerbilhunter

    “Are you sorry about what happened?”
    “I’m most certainly am,” Payne replied.
    WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER FIVE TIMES Johnny?

Comments are closed.