Thursday, August 3, 2023

UPDATE: Payment Dispute Leads to Businessman Struck by Tri-Axle and Murder Charges in Schuylkill County

A pedestrian was tragically struck and killed by a dump truck driver in West Penn Township on Wednesday evening.

According to court documents, the West Penn Police Chief, James Bonner, was dispatched to 725 Penn Drive, West Penn Township, Mark T. Boyle Welding and Industrial Sandblasting, for a report of a pedestrian struck by a dump truck.

Upon his arrival at the scene, Chief Bonner encountered a large dump truck was parked in the driveway near the entrance leading onto Route 443. The driver of the truck was identified as Michael Albert, 60, of Scranton.

Mark Boyle, 35, the victim of the incident, was found lying approximately 145 feet away from the point where the truck had come to a stop. Boyle was in a semi-conscious state and was being attended to by EMT's and firefighters.

A witness provided a detailed account to law enforcement. He described how he observed a triaxle dump truck accelerating rapidly as it attempted to exit a parking lot. He witnessed the back end of the driver's side of the truck suddenly elevate and then lower. To avoid a collision, the witness had to bring his vehicle to a halt. It was then that he noticed Boyle on the ground, injured. Boyle's wife was beside him, distraught and on the phone with emergency services.

Upon further investigation, it was revealed that Albert's daughter had driven her father, Michael, to the location to retrieve his truck being worked on by Boyle. 

She recounted that she left to go to a nearby Walmart but received a distressing call from her father. He informed her that he was being denied possession of the truck until payment was made. Albert's daughter returned to the scene and witnessed her father attempting to drive away. 

Elizabeth Boyle, the victim's wife, also provided her account of the events. She revealed that Michael Albert was a customer of her husband and had come to collect his truck. Allegedly, he was informed that the truck would not be released until the outstanding payment was settled. According to Elizabeth Boyle, Michael Albert started the truck, began to drive away, and intentionally swerved into her husband, causing the fatal incident. She stated that the driver even made disturbing remarks after hitting Boyle.

The truck involved in the incident was identified as a 2001 Black Peterbilt Triaxle dump truck.

In an interview with the defendant, Michael Albert, he admitted to having a contractual agreement with the victim for truck repair work. 

Albert claimed that despite agreeing to a payment plan, Boyle had not completed the work until that day. Frustrated, Albert confronted Boyle about the payment issue. He confessed that he had considered leaving without paying and asserted that he saw Boyle running towards his truck but continued to drive. He acknowledged feeling an impact and stopping the truck immediately.

Despite valiant efforts by emergency personnel, Boyle went into cardiac arrest multiple times and was eventually pronounced dead at Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest in Allentown.

As a result, Chief Bonner charged Albert with Murder in the 3rd Degree, Aggravated Assault, Homicide by Vehicle, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and Theft of Services.

Michael Albert arraigned before on-call Magisterial District Justice Edward Tarentelli and remanded to Schuylkill County Prison without bail. 

A Preliminary Hearing is tentatively scheduled for August 15, 2023, at 10:00 am, to be presided over by District Justice Andrew J. Serina.