Driver in deadly Jan. 14 crash was in 2001 fatal mishap

By Rodney L. Sherman

A 64-year-old Kossuth woman police say struck and killed an Amish buggy driver Jan. 14 in Elk Township also struck and killed a pedestrian in Clarion Borough in 2001.

According to state police reports, Pamela J. Raybuck struck and killed 39-year-old David Coblentz, of Shippenville, at 5:33 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, along U.S. Route 322 in Elk Township.

Coblentz was driving a horse-drawn two-wheeled buggy when he was struck from behind by Raybuck’s 2015 Buick Enclave.

Police report the buggy was pushed “quite some distance” before the horse and the buggy traveled over the top of the Enclave.

Raybuck was wearing a seat belt and was not injured.

Clarion County Coroner David Shingledecker pronounced Coblentz dead at the scene. The horse also was killed in the crash.

No charges have been filed against Raybuck related to the Jan. 14 crash.

Raybuck was charged with homicide by vehicle as a third-degree felony and other charges in March of 2002 stemming from an incident at 7:57 p.m. Nov. 1, 2001, at the intersection of Main Street and Keatley Place in Clarion Borough.

Raybuck, then 46, was traveling along Main Street when she struck William F. Woodley, 66, Clarion, while he was in a crosswalk attempting to cross Main Street.

Raybuck was also charged with involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree misdemeanor, and careless driving, reckless driving and failing to yield the right-of-way of pedestrians in crosswalks, summary offenses.

According to online court records, Raybuck eventually pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree misdemeanor and reckless endangerment of another person, a second-degree misdemeanor, and was sentenced to time served and a $1,483 fine.

Online court records do not indicate how much time Raybuck served.

History of eye problems

According to 2002 news reports published in the CLARION NEWS, the day after the crash that killed Woodley, police received anonymous tips that Raybuck had a vision impairment that limited her driving ability.

As a result of those tips along with investigative leads, police obtained a search warrant for Raybuck’s place of employment and at the office of her eye doctor.

Evidence collected revealed Raybuck suffered from vision impairment known as macular degeneration of the eyes. The impairment causes loss in sight in the central part of the field of vision but leaves peripheral vision intact.

Documents obtained at Raybuck’s eye doctor indicated Raybuck had sufficient knowledge of her impairment and she was personally instructed by a doctor that her ability to drive a car was restricted to daytime driving only and she was not permitted to drive during hours of darkness.

Raybuck told police she was traveling west on Main Street when she hit Woodley. Raybuck alleged she didn’t see Woodley until immediately prior to impact. Raybuck said she stopped as soon as possible after the impact.

Raybuck said she was not drinking but she was taking an allergy type medication for her eyes.

State police Jan. 17 issued a request for anyone who might have observed Coblentz driving his buggy along U.S. Route 322 in Elk Township just prior to the crash to contact state police at (814) 226-1710.