She is accused of driving under the influence of a controlled substance on Nov. 27, 2010, and of causing the death of Matthew Kozak, 34, Penn Avenue, Jenner Township. He died of a traumatic brain injury Dec. 2 in Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, Johnstown.
Police accused Gindlesperger of being under the influence of benzoylecgonine, a cocaine degradation product, and alprazolam and lorazepam, medications used to treat anxiety.
During Gindlesperger's arraignment Wednesday before District Judge Susan Mankamyer of Boswell, defense attorney Arthur McQuillan, Johnstown, said she is already on supervised probation for a minor misdemeanor. That probationary term lasts through February. She has had random drug tests, which have all tested clean, he said, and successfully completed an inpatient stay in Florida in December.
Gindlesperger told Mankamyer that she is unemployed, having broken her back in the accident. Prior to that, she was employed as a phlebotomist.
McQuillan said he, District Attorney Jerry Spangler and Conemaugh Township police Sgt. James McKnight have met several times about the case in the past six weeks or so. Gindlesperger has always advised them of her changes of address and telephone number.
The accident happened on Route 403 near the Crow's Nest restaurant. Gindlesperger was unable to maintain control of her vehicle while rounding a left-hand turn. She crossed into the southbound lane, went into a ditch and her four-wheel drive vehicle climbed an embankment, struck a utility pole and overturned onto its roof.
Gindlesperger had glassy eyes and spoke with slurred speech. Kozak was her boyfriend, according to an affidavit. Five witnesses told police that she was speeding. She was driving at a minimum of 49 mph in a 35 mph zone.
Gindlesperger was also charged with homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence, involuntary manslaughter, careless driving resulting in a death, speeding, careless driving, failure to stay on the right side of the roadway and failure to drive within one lane.
She was released on an unsecured $50,000 bond. The conditions of the bond are that she undergo processing at the police department, refrain from controlled substances or alcohol except medications prescribed by a physician, not have any contact with Kozak's family and abide by conditions of her probation.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. Dec. 5 before Mankamyer.