Cops: Pair accused of DUI after recent joyride in Unity Township
A man and woman told troopers neither was behind the wheel of a truck discovered stuck in a soybean field in Unity Township last month, but both now are accused of drunken driving and related charges following the alleged joyride through several yards and fields.
State police charged Rhonda M. Barkley, 31, and Richard S. Fircetz, 46, of Latrobe, with driving under the influence of alcohol, failing to stop and provide information, careless driving and driving on suspended licenses.
Witnesses placed Barkley behind the wheel of the Ford F250 pickup truck on Aug. 19 when it became stuck in a field along Longs Road, causing more than $1,000 damage, so she also is charged with making false reports, criminal mischief and agricultural vandalism, Trooper Branden Snyder reported in court document filed this week before Unity Township District Judge Michael Mahady.
Troopers responded to the scene after receiving multiple reports that a truck “was doing circles” in the field and had become stuck, Snyder reported. Barkley and Fircetz were outside the truck when troopers arrived.
“(Barkley) related her friend Billy was driving and fled the scene on foot,” Snyder reported.
However, witnesses told troopers that Barkley and Fircetz were the only ones they saw in the truck.
“Through further investigation, Fircetz admitted that he and Barkley were both intentionally driving through yards and fields. It was noted that Barkley and Fircetz had ID cards only and both have suspended driver’s licenses,” Snyder wrote in court documents.
Preliminary hearings will be scheduled before Mahady.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, email@example.com or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.