Ryan Yannone noticed the pickup truck meandering along state Route 690 in Salem Twp. and followed.
When the 1999 Dodge Dakota stopped, he saw a small girl behind the wheel and a grown man in the passenger seat. He asked the man why he was letting a child drive.
The man, Sean J. Hannon, swore and yelled that it was none of his business.
“Take off,” Hannon said to the girl, who state police at Honesdale later discovered was his 11-year-old daughter.
The truck sped off and crashed into a pine tree. Nobody was hurt. Hannon tried to free it from the bramble but Yannone pulled the keys from the ignition to prevent him from fleeing until police arrived.
Yannone was hailed a hero following Hannon’s two-day trial in Wayne County Court that concluded Tuesday.
After one hour of deliberation, the jury found Hannon, 49, of 590 Drinker Turnpike, Covington Twp., Lackawanna County, guilty of two felony counts of child endangerment, two counts of DUI, two counts of recklessly endangering another person and various traffic citations for the Nov. 5 incident.
“I would like to single out the ‘Good Samaritan’ who brought this crazy episode to a halt,” Wayne County District Attorney Patrick Robinson said of Yannone in a statement.
“The Good Samaritan did his job as a citizen.”
It is fortunate no one was killed during the girl’s 10-mile drive, Robinson said. Hannon’s 8-year-old son also was a passenger in the truck.
Hannon had a blood alcohol level of 0.228 percent when state police responded the crash at the intersection of Neville Road and Hollisterville Highway, authorities said.
Hannon first told state troopers he was driving, not his 11-year-old daughter. When challenged on Yannone’s statement that he tried to get the truck out of the bramble, Hannon said he wasn’t driving.
Robinson said the truck was so large that the girl had to watch the road through the steering wheel, not over it.
Yannone noticed Hannon tried get rid of a bottle of bourbon after the crash, state police said. Hannon failed a field sobriety test and had blood drawn. Hannon acknowledged he’s had several DUIs and had a suspended license at the time.
“We were just going for a ride,” he told a state trooper.
The children were taken by state police to the Moscow home of Hannon’s parents.
Attorney Joe Price, Hannon’s lawyer, said they respect the jury’s decision and will pursue Hannon’s appellate rights.
Senior Judge Raymond L. Hamill revoked Hannon’s bail and remanded him to Wayne County Correction Facility. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 4.
Contact the writer: jkohuttimesshamrock.com, 570-348-9144; jkohutTT on Twitter.
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