Downriver Marine killed by suspected drunk driver in Texas - New York News

Downriver Marine killed by suspected drunk driver in Texas

Posted: Updated:
U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Donald Di Pietro was killed while riding his motorcycle in Texas. U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Donald Di Pietro was killed while riding his motorcycle in Texas.
WYANDOTTE, Mich. (WJBK) -

He was an American hero proudly serving as a member of the U.S. Marines for nine years, but his life was cut short not by war, but by a suspected drunk driver.

Staff Sergeant Donald Di Pietro a decorated Marine from Downriver, was killed Sunday riding his Victory High-Ball motorcycle while stationed in Texas.

He served tours in Iraq and Mexico.  Skilled in Spanish and Arabic, he had received commendations for participating in the capture of more than 500 criminals, and he helped capture what the government called high valued drug trafficking targets on the U.S.-Mexico border.

His father found two Marines at his door Sunday morning in Wyandotte.

"I opened the door.  I said, 'My son is dead, isn't he?'  And they said, 'Can we come in?'" said Donald Di Pietro.

The Marines explained that his son was off-duty and riding his motorcycle to meet his buddies at 7:30 p.m. in San Angelo, Texas where he was stationed.  A suspected drunk driver with no lights in a pickup pulled out in front of Di Pietro.  He was killed instantly at the age of 28.

The truck's driver, 65-year-old Malcolm McBurnett, is charged with intoxication manslaughter by vehicle.  He has previously had at least three other drunk driving convictions.

This was deja vu for the father, who also answered the door in 1971 when Marines notified his family that his brother, Bob, was killed in Vietnam at the age of 24.

"I was actually the one that answered the door at the time," he said.  "At that time they had a telegram in their hand, and they delivered it."

Friday afternoon, Michigan State Police and the Marines escorted Donald Di Pietro's body to Wyandotte for the funeral and burial on Monday.

"I was very proud of my son, and his grandfather was very proud of him," said the elder Di Pietro.

If McBurnett is convicted, he is looking at the possibility of 20 years in prison.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Baby found in teen's shopping bag called homicide

    Baby found in teen's shopping bag called homicide

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:07 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:07:27 GMT
    The New York City medical examiner has ruled that the death of a baby found in a teenager's shopping bag was a homicide.
    The New York City medical examiner has ruled that the death of a baby found in a teenager's shopping bag was a homicide.
  • Chelsea Clinton: I might run for office

    Chelsea Clinton: I might run for office

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 8:36 PM EDT2014-04-17 00:36:50 GMT
    Chelsea Clinton says she might run for office someday - if she becomes dissatisfied with the job her elected representatives are doing.
    Chelsea Clinton says she might run for office someday - if she becomes dissatisfied with the job her elected representatives are doing.
  • NJ mom charged with trying to kill her 3 teens

    NJ mom charged with trying to kill her 3 children

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 8:25 PM EDT2014-04-17 00:25:35 GMT
    A southern New Jersey woman is in custody on charges she tried to kill her three children by driving her car into the Delaware River.
    A southern New Jersey woman is in custody on charges she tried to kill her three children by driving her car into the Delaware River.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices