Evidence – Spontaneous Declarations – Statement by Injured Party While on Way to Hospital

Plaintiffs were injured in an automobile accident involving a car, driven by the defendant’s decedent, and two oncoming trucks, one passing the other on a three lane highway. Twenty-five minutes after the accident a state police officer arrived and took the driver of the passing truck, who was severely burned and in terrific pain, to the hospital. En route and in response to the officer’s inquiry, the driver stated that defendant had caused the accident by swerving to the wrong side of the road. The statement was admitted over defendant’s objection that it was hearsay, and verdict was rendered for the plaintiff. On appeal, held, reversed. The statement was hearsay and not within the spontaneous declarations exception because the circumstances were not such as to preclude premeditation and consideration. Weshalek v. Weshalek, 379 Pa. 544, 109 A. (2d) 302 (1954).