CLEARFIELD – A Grampian man scheduled to go to trial Tuesday on homicide by vehicle charges signed a plea agreement.
Eric Lynn McCall, 48, was charged after a single-vehicle accident on state Route 879 in Pike Township in April of 2019 that killed Christina Metzker, 41, of Clearfield.
District Attorney Ryan Sayers said in a phone interview that although he was ready to go to trial, the defense attorney for McCall approached him asking if a plea agreement previously offered was still available this morning.
Because it would save the taxpayers’ money to cancel the trial and the expert witnesses, Sayers said the offer still stood and the defense took it.
“It was not economical to hold the trial,” he said. The plea agreement calls for three years and six months incarceration.
Sayers explained that the homicide by vehicle while DUI charge has a mandatory minimum sentence of three years, and driving under suspension DUI-related, carries a mandatory 90-day sentence. The fact that McCall fled the scene of the accident is why they added the additional time.
If McCall had been found guilty, Sayers said he would have expected the same sentence.
According to the affidavit, while en route, police were advised one of the people in the vehicle was deceased and the other, a man who had been injured, fled the scene on foot.
The vehicle, a 2014 Hyundai Veloster, had impacted multiple trees and overturned onto its passenger side.
Fire department personnel said the driver was bleeding when he left the scene.
A passenger in the vehicle, Metzker, was partially ejected from the car and was deceased.
Police were able to track the driver, later identified as McCall, by following his blood trail. He was found about one mile west of the crash scene.
Officers noticed that McCall showed signs of being intoxicated, such as slurred speech, bloodshot glassy eyes and the smell of alcohol. He failed a breath test before he was flown by helicopter to UPMC Altoona for treatment, according to the complaint.
A record check on McCall showed that his license was suspended for a previous DUI case.
After McCall refused to submit to an alcohol blood test at the hospital, a search warrant was issued to the hospital for his records which showed his blood alcohol content was 0.185 percent.
In addition to homicide by vehicle while DUI, McCall is also charged with aggravated assault by vehicle with DUI, accidents involving death or personal injury, flight to avoid apprehension, homicide by vehicle, accidents involving death or injury while not licensed, all felonies as well as misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter and several traffic summaries.
McCall is free on supervised bail pending his sentencing, which should be within 60 days.