Former Traffic Court employee sentenced for fatal DUI crash

Tanya Muskelley was sentenced up to six months after surrendering to a crash that killed another woman.

A former Philadelphia Traffic Court employee has been sentenced to serve up to six months in prison in connection with a 2012 drunken-driving crash in the Northeast that claimed the life of a 20-year-old woman.

Tanya Muskelley, 48, of North Philadelphia, surrendered to sheriff’s deputies on Aug. 18, a week after Common Pleas Court Judge Diana L. Anhalt sentenced her to three to six months in the city’s women’s prison, Riverside Correctional Facility, court records show.

The fatal crash occurred on May 3, 2012, at Roosevelt Boulevard and Cottman Avenue. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Brittney Dixon was crossing the Boulevard against a red light when Muskelley’s car struck her. The Inquirer reported Muskelley’s blood-alcohol content was tested at .201 percent more than two hours after the accident. The legal threshold for drunken driving in Pennsylvania is .08 percent.

On May 30, a trial jury convicted Muskelley of DUI, but acquitted her of two homicide by vehicle counts and involuntary manslaughter, court records show.

The Inquirer reported Muskelley began working for Traffic Court in 2004 as a court crier. That’s the person who calls court to order and announces the itinerary. Muskelley has a prior DUI arrest, but it was expunged from her record after she completed a non-trial diversion program, the paper reported.

Anhalt also ordered Muskelley to pay a $5,000 fine and attend alcohol highway safety classes, while suspending her driver’s license for a year. The judge ruled the defendant eligible for work release. ••