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Lancaster mechanic pleads guilty in fatal crash and harassment of victim's family

Lancaster mechanic pleads guilty in fatal crash and harassment of victim's family

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A Lancaster mechanic who was behind the wheel of a vehicle that crashed in 2019, killing his passenger, and then sent threatening messages to the victim's family members pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to criminally negligent homicide and aggravated harassment, the Erie County District Attorney's Office announced.

Allen Stirling indictment

Allen Stirling.

A jury trial against Allen J. Stirling, 50, had started Tuesday.

Authorities said that on the night of May 13, 2019, Stirling was driving on William Street in Lancaster when he lost control of his SUV and crashed near Bowen Road.

Prosecutors said Stirling, an auto mechanic, knew that the vehicle was unsafe to drive. His passenger, Jodie Anstett, 41, of Lancaster, was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. Stirling later sent threatening messages via text and social media to Anstett's family.

Stirling, who was released on his own recognizance, faces up to 4 years in prison when he is sentenced at 9:30 a.m. May 2.

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Chief of the Breaking News/Criminal Justice Desk

I've worked at The Buffalo News since 2005. I previously worked as a reporter at the New York Daily News and the Charlotte Observer and was a special correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.

Related to this story

  • Updated

A Lancaster man has been charged with criminally negligent homicide in connection with a fatal one-vehicle crash earlier this year, Lancaster police said. Allen J. Stirling, 49, lost control of an SUV he was driving and crashed at about 10 p.m. May 13 on William Street near Bowen Road, police said. Jodie L. Anstett, 41, was ejected from the

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