CANAAN TOWNSHIP, WAYNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A Wayne County man has been sentenced after pleading guilty to killing two people and injuring a third in two separate DUI crashes.
According to the Wayne County District Attorney A.G. Howell, Thursday, the Honorable President Judge Janine Edwards sentenced Thomas M. Frisch Jr., to a total of 9 years and 3 months to 26 years in state prison.
On Tuesday, May 3, Frisch pleaded guilty to two counts of homicide by vehicle, two counts of DUI, and one count of aggravated assault by vehicle for two crashes that occurred on April 8, 2020, and May 22, 2020.
Officials say, on April 8, 2020, Frisch killed 25-year-old Robert Anderson and 24-year-old Zachary Brooks, both of Waymart, in a head-on collision. Also on May 22, 2020, Frisch injured Jim Ann Petroski in another head-on collision while DUI.
According to a press release, on May 22, 2020, PSP responded to a head-on collision between two vehicles on State Route 6, Roosevelt Highway in Wayne County.
State police say they asked Frisch how the crash occurred, to which he replied, that he was reaching for his phone when he crashed into the other vehicle. Officers say while speaking with Frisch they observed him being very calm and lethargic and his eyes were also glossy and constricted.
Troopers asked Frisch if he had taken anything prescribed or any illegal drugs. According to the release, Frisch told police he had taken methadone around 4:30 p.m. police say they gave Frisch a sobriety test, that he failed.
PSP said Frisch was taken into custody and transported to Wayne Memorial Hospital for a blood draw. Court papers say Frisch had the following in his system:
- EDDP (metabolite of methadone)
In the case, stemming from April 8, 2020, PSP Honesdale got a call for a two-vehicle head-on crash again in the area of 94 Roosevelt Highway, State Route 6, in Wayne County.
Police say they arrived just after midnight on April 9 and saw a blue Chevy Silverado in the eastbound travel lane and observed the driver of the Silverado climbing out of the vehicle, and police identified him as Thomas M. Frisch Jr.
State Troopers said they observed a 2016 Nissan Sentra driven by Robert Anderson, 25, with his passenger Zachary Brooks, 24, both of Waymart who were on their way home after work.
Police say they found syringes around the scene of the crash. When sent to the lab for testing, the blood inside the syringe was a match to Frisch.
According to law enforcement, Frisch was asked if he used any drugs or alcohol prior to the accident to which he replied no, as he was signing a medical refusal form. PSP said they observed Frisch having tremors while signing.
Police then conducted a second interview where Frisch admitted to using benzodiazepines and marijuana. He stated he used the vape pen throughout the day and also went to the methadone clinic for his dose earlier in the day.
A report from PSP Collision Analysis and Reconstructionist determined and confirmed the direction the vehicles were traveling on April 8, 2020, the night of the fatal crash.
According to the report, the Chevy truck, driven by Frisch, was traveling West on State Route 6 in the westbound land and crossed the double yellow line in the middle of the road drifting completely into the left eastbound lane of traffic, which is where the fatal collision occurred, as the Nissan was traveling in that direction. PSP says the Chevy impacted the front of the Nissan and the force caused the vehicle to spin a complete 180 degrees before coming to a stop.
District Attorney Howell says that no sentence will ever take the place of the two amazing young men, Robert Anderson and Zachary Brooks, or bring Jim Ann Petroski back to full health after these senseless crimes committed by Frisch.