NORWICH – A man appearing in court Monday was charged with killing his passenger in an alcohol-related accident but avoided prison due to the fact the passenger in question was also his sister. The family told the court they had endured enough loss and wished for the defendant not to be sent to prison.
Leon L. Pierce Jr., 45, of Newark Valley in Tioga County, was originally indicted with one count of second degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, second degree vehicular assault and driving while intoxicated.
The accident occurred at 7:43 p.m. Feb. 25 in the Town of Bainbridge, along County Rt. 39. Pierce was driving home with his sister and a friend after playing pool and drinking beer since about noon. Pierce said the weather and conditions of the roads were a factor and that he was unfamiliar with the roads they were on. While approaching a turn, the friend in the pick-up mistakenly told Pierce to turn in the wrong direction and he lost control of the truck. The vehicle flipped and went off the road, killing Rose S. Dickson. The vehicle was traveling at regular speeds and investigators said they did not believe the accident was a result of “fast or erratic driving practices.”