Fatal DUI crash ends with 4- to 10-year sentence

A man from Jersey Shore will serve the next four to 10 years in a state prison for his role in a car wreck that killed his close friend a little over a year ago.

Laverne A. Stover Jr., 55, pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle and DUI on April 28 in Lycoming County Court. This week, he was sentenced to serve time in a state prison, according to court records.

By pleading guilty, Stover accepted an agreement for that sentence.

Stover, of 2008 Middle Road, Jersey Shore, was driving drunk and under the influence of marijuana on Quarry Road when he lost control of his car in late August of 2016.

The 1990 Chevrolet Beretta hit a tree, overturned and landed in a stream north of Shadle Road in Limestone Township about 2:20 p.m.

Stover and his passenger, 51-year-old Chris J. Baier, also of Jersey Shore, were trapped in the wrecked car for about 20 minutes, police said.

Both were rushed to the hospital, but Baier was pronounced dead shortly after arriving.

A few days later, Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr. said an autopsy confirmed Baier died of blunt-force injuries.

Stover, whose blood alcohol level police gauged at 0.27, told a woman who witnessed the crash “not to call the cops,” when she approached the overturned car.

When on the way to the hospital, police said Stover became combative with paramedics.

Stover turned himself in and was charged with involuntary manslaughter, homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence and other lesser charges, according to court records.

This was Stover’s fifth arrest for driving under the influence in his lifetime.

State police also said Stover also was in possession of marijuana and Tramadol during the crash.