ULSTER, Pa. (WETM) – On Friday a jury convicted Lawrence Faucett of Ulster, PA of criminally negligent homicide in the death of New York State Department of Transportation maintenance worker Dennis “Matt” Howe in March of 2019, according to NYSDOT.
On March 13, 2019, Howe was parked on the shoulder of NYS Route 17 in an advance warning vehicle, his truck lights flashing to alert drivers of a road repair crew ahead.
Faucett, a professional driver behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer, did not comply with New York’s Move Over Law, and drove his truck onto the shoulder and crashed into Howe’s truck.
Howe was airlifted to the hospital where he died on March 18, 2019.
Faucett was initially ticketed for moving from a lane unsafely and failure to exercise due care – a violation of the Move Over Law. Upon further investigation by the Tioga County Sheriff’s Department and the Tioga County District Attorney’s Office, Faucett was charged with criminally negligent homicide.
In October 2019, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation designating the portion of Route 17 where Matt was fatally wounded as the Dennis “Matt” Howe Memorial Highway.
“This verdict is a victory for highway safety and for highway workers everywhere, but it will not bring Matt back to his family, friends and co-workers who loved him. DOT workers are amongst the most professional and dedicated public servants. Like Matt Howe, they are on our roadways every day, working to make our transportation system safe. We hope this verdict raises the public’s awareness of how important it is for all drivers to slow down and safely move over when coming upon a work zone. It would be a fitting tribute to Matt if this tragedy inspired people to view a work zone not as a mere inconvenience, but as a place where people who are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters are working hard, to keep us all safe. We thank Tioga County District Attorney Kirk Martin and his staff for their hard work, diligence, and commitment to public safety in prosecuting this case.”Marie Therese Dominguez, DOT Commissioner