City Man Charged in Deadly Drunk Driving Incident

A man from the city has been incarcerated following charges linked to a 2023 car accident that resulted in the death of a fellow passenger. 43-year-old William J. Tremmel appeared before Magisterial District Judge Andrew L. Blattenberger on Saturday to face two felony charges of aggravated assault by a vehicle while under the influence as well as misdemeanor charges of DUI, reckless endangerment of another person, possession of drug paraphernalia, and summary traffic violations.

Tremmel was sent to Blair County Prison as he couldn’t afford the $250,000 bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for February 2, presided over by Magisterial District Judge Benjamin F. Jones.

According to court records, Tremmel had crashed his GMC Acadia into a concrete barrier on the 2500 block of Broad Avenue Alley on March 16 at around 8:24 p.m. A male passenger was found unconscious in his vehicle and police had to apply life-saving efforts until medical help arrived. After being taken to UPMC Altoona and then transferred to UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh, the man ultimately died on March 18. Court reports state he had suffered a blunt-force trauma caused by the accident, despite there being no autopsy conducted by the Allegheny County Coroner’s Office.

Medical documents from both UPMC Altoona and UPMC Presbyterian revealed that the victim had sustained a spinal injury as a result of the crash. Officers at the scene reported that Tremmel, who was at the wheel at the time of the accident, was under the influence of alcohol, exhibiting slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and a strong alcohol smell. He confessed to having consumed several beers prior to the accident.

Dashcam footage caught the accident and preceding events, revealing Tremmel driving erratically, crossing lines on the road, nearly colliding with guardrails and oncoming traffic, and almost hitting a truck. The video also shows him striking a retaining wall before speeding up and hitting the concrete barrier. Reportedly, Tremmel was also caught on camera attempting to flee the scene of the accident and telling his passenger to “wake up”.

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