Cop Carelessly Speeding and Running Stop Sign Kills Woman, Gets Off With Fine of 500 Bucks

Donna Platz, 57, was on her way to work. She never expected a cop to break traffic laws and ram into her. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Criminal charges against Officer Schimp were dropped.

Tim Hahn | Erie Times News

A Pennsylvania State Police trooper who drove a patrol vehicle that ran a stop sign and caused a crash that killed an Edinboro woman in Fairview Township in July failed in his bid to have a careless driving citation dismissed.

Millcreek Township District Judge Paul Manzi cited the actions of Frederick Schimp as he drove along Sterrettania Road and entered Route 98, where his vehicle collided with a car driven by Donna Platz, in finding Schimp guilty of careless driving involving an unintentional death. Manzi announced his ruling in a written decision on Wednesday, following a summary trial on Monday.

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cop speeding
Officer Schimp

Schimp, 49, sought acquittal of the charge, which carries a $500 fine and a six-month driver’s license suspension.

His lawyer, Philip Friedman, said on Monday that Schimp was fighting the charge to prevent getting fired, as the state police consider a suspended license a potential cause for discharge.

State police also cited Schimp for failing to obey a stop sign.

He pleaded guilty to that citation and was fined.

Schimp has 30 days to appeal the ruling to a judge in Erie County Court. Friedman said he and Schimp have to discuss the matter.

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Schimp will remain in his current position until the legal proceedings are complete and an internal investigation is done, said state police spokesman Trooper Adam Reed.

The state police’s investigation of the accident found that Schimp went through the stop sign at Route 98 while traveling west on Sterrettania Road at about 3:30 a.m. on July 5. Platz, 57, was driving north on Route 98 and was heading to work.

Platz was pronounced dead at the scene. Schimp and his passenger, Trooper Garrett Padasak, were injured.

Manzi wrote in his ruling that Schimp was traveling 14 mph over the speed limit five seconds before the crash and 60 to 62 mph 20 feet from the stop sign. He said Schimp sped through a warning sign and through two stop signs.

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