SMETHPORT — Defense counsel has asked for more time to look at the evidence from a fatal Duke Center crash that happened in September before moving forward with the case.
Daniel W. Oaks II, 32, of Bradford, faces charges including homicide by vehicle and aggravated assault by vehicle for the accident in which one person died and four people — Oaks and three bystanders — were seriously injured.
Oaks appeared for a last-day-to-plea conference Thursday in McKean County Court before President Judge John Pavlock, but the conference was continued to Aug. 8 at the request of defense attorney Anthony Clarke.
While Clarke was not anticipating issues obtaining discovery, he explained the case is “complicated” and that he is still gathering information. Clarke has hired experts to help, he noted.
District Attorney Stephanie Vettenburg-Shaffer was not opposed to postponing the conference and agreed she believes she and Clarke will be able to work together during the discovery process.
Oaks’ girlfriend, Alyssa Hawk, was killed in the crash.
Police said that on Sept. 8, a car driven by Oaks left the Y Bar in Duke Center, where Oaks was helping decorate for a fundraising event. The car went off the road near 610 Main St., struck a full-size pickup truck, pushing it into two side-by-side utility vehicles. The truck was pushed into three people, Cody and Sam Pearce and Justin McDivitt, who were standing in the yard, and it struck a porch, destroying it. Hawk was a passenger in Oaks’ car.
Investigators say it was the speed of the car that caused the injuries and damage, but alcohol was not a factor in the crash.