Vandergrift Driver Convicted in Sister’s Death

Michelle (Dibler) Lockard (Inmate file photo)

The sister of a crash victim who died in Parks Township last March has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years of punishment for her crime.

Michelle (Dibler) Lockard of Vandergrift was found guilty for driving under the influence and involuntary manslaughter in the death of her sister – 26-year-old Nicole Dibler – after her 2005 Ford Five Hundred flipped into the Kiskiminetas River 53 weeks ago – on March 18, 2012.

Pennsylvania State Police troopers said Lockard displayed signs of intoxication and Michelle was found to be under the influence of alcohol and marijuana the morning of the incident.

Lockard – who will turn 24-years-old in two weeks – was able to escape the crash with minor crash-related injuries.

Lockard pled guilty to driving under the influence and involuntary manslaughter – both misdemeanor offenses – in February in a plea for a lesser sentence. A felony charge of homicide while driving under the influence and other misdemeanor and summary offenses were dismissed.

President Judge Kenneth Valasek sentenced her 30 months of Intermediate Punishment – half of which spent within her own residence – yesterday morning at the Armstrong County Courthouse.

Lockard is also required to undergo treatment at ARC Manor, attend Highway Safety School and refrain from use or possession of any alcohol or controlled substances or entering establishments that sell such. She will also pay a total of more than $2,000 in costs and fines, and undergo a month of electronic monitoring.

Nicole Dibler was a passenger in the right front seat, but was found in the backseat area of the vehicle by the Armstrong County Water Rescue Task Force, where she succumbed to her injuries. She was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Coroner Brian K. Myers.

Neither woman was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Before the verdict, Parks Township police department received a letter threatening harm against them if they should file criminal charges against Lockard.