Monday, July 15, 2013
Carnival worker charged with golf cart DUI, hurting St. Michael's fair worker
Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2013
A Florida carnie worker allegedly driving a golf cart while drunk hit and seriously injured a woman at a Tullytown fair last month.
Bruce Coppage, 30, who gave his address as Gibsonton, Fla., appeared before Bristol Township District Judge Robert Wagner Jr. on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing on charges including driving under the influence, but he showed up without a lawyer.
Coppage works for the Florida-based Reithoffer Shows, which manages traveling carnivals including several that take place in Bucks County.
Shortly before 11:30 p.m. on June 27, Tullytown police responded to a report of a struck pedestrian with injuries at the St. Michael’s church fair off the Levittown Parkway.
A source familiar with the incident say the injured woman is a 23-year-old concession stand worker, who remains hospitalized; she is listed in fair condition, according to St. Mary Medical Center spokeswoman Kate Smith.
When police arrived they found a woman screaming in pain with what appeared to be a serious injury to her right arm, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Police say that Coppage was operating a golf cart on the fairgrounds when he hit the woman. Coppage appeared lethargic and had slurred speech when police spoke with him. He allegedly admitted to drinking “several” alcoholic beverages prior to the accident.
He failed a field sobriety test and was placed under arrest for suspicion of drunken driving, as well as charges of accidents involving death or injury and related summary traffic offenses including driving while suspended.
After Coppage, who is free on $5,000 unsecured bail, told the judge that he had not had time to apply for a public defender, Wagner continued the hearing for two weeks.
Coppage told Wagner that he works on the fair’s tilt-a-whirl ride — assembling and taking down the rides.