The driver of a tractor trailer who struck two men on Interstate 81, killing one, entered guilty pleas and was sentenced in the Susquehanna County Court of Common Please on Dec. 29, 2021.
Marcus Brumberger, 56, of Auburn, NY, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault by motor vehicle in connection with the crash that claimed the life of Thurston Harvell Sr. and injured Thurston Harvell Jr.
Brumberger was sentenced to serve nine months to 5 years for the aggravated assault by motor vehicle, followed by a consecutive sentence of 12 months to five years in a state correctional facility for the involuntary manslaughter count.
Police responded to the scene of the July 15, 2019 crash on I-81 south where it was reported that two people were lying on the roadway as a result of the collision. Brumberger told police he was looking in his driver’s side rear view mirror and when he looked up, he saw white and heard the collision.
According to court documents filed in the case, the Harvells’ vehicle ran out of gas, and Harvell Sr. and his wife, Cynthia, walked to the 223 exit to get fuel. She stayed at the gas station while her husband returned to the vehicle.
Another tractor trailer driver witnessed the crash and told police Brumberger did not move to the left lane away from the vehicle parked off the roadway. He said Brumberger struck two pedestrians and then the white GMC Acadia. The witness also told police that Harvell Sr. was drug underneath the trailer for about 100 feet, and Harvell Jr. was thrown against the vehicle.
Cynthia Harvell and Harvell Jr. were transported to Wilson Medical Center for treatment. Harvell Sr. was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of multiple traumatic injuries sustained in the crash.
According to court documents, physical evidence at the scene indicated that the GMC Acadia was pulled off the right shoulder of I-81 south, to the right of the rumble strips and almost against the guide rail. Tire marks indicated Brumberger’s Mack tractor trailer was to the right of the fog line and on the shoulder of the road when it hit the Harvells and the vehicle.