Downriver Marine killed by suspected drunk driver in Texas - FOX 35 News Orlando

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>>

  • Chrysler Expanding Presence in China

    Chrysler Expanding Presence in China

    Monday, April 21 2014 3:32 AM EDT2014-04-21 07:32:50 GMT
    Fiat and Chrysler announced plans this weekend to build three new Jeep models in China for that market, the biggest for the vehicles outside the United States, as they attempt to boost sales in a country where they lag behind their competitors. The automakers said they will expand their joint venture with China's Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. Ltd., and increase the portfolio of Jeeps, which are currently imported to China. Production is expected to start in late 2015.
    Fiat and Chrysler announced plans this weekend to build three new Jeep models in China for that market, the biggest for the vehicles outside the United States, as they attempt to boost sales in a country where they lag behind their competitors. The automakers said they will expand their joint venture with China's Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. Ltd., and increase the portfolio of Jeeps, which are currently imported to China. Production is expected to start in late 2015.
  • Ford at the Beijing Auto Show

    Ford at the Beijing Auto Show

    Monday, April 21 2014 3:27 AM EDT2014-04-21 07:27:48 GMT
    Ford Motor Co. on Sunday unveiled a new Escort sedan designed in China for global sale at a Beijing auto show that highlighted the growing influence of Chinese tastes on the industry. Automakers are looking to China's biggest auto show this year to help boost sales in this huge but cooling market. Total sales last year reached 17.9 million vehicles, but growth is expected to slow from 15.7 percent to as low as 8 percent, even as newcomers including Lincoln and Tesla enter the market.
    Ford Motor Co. on Sunday unveiled a new Escort sedan designed in China for global sale at a Beijing auto show that highlighted the growing influence of Chinese tastes on the industry. Automakers are looking to China's biggest auto show this year to help boost sales in this huge but cooling market. Total sales last year reached 17.9 million vehicles, but growth is expected to slow from 15.7 percent to as low as 8 percent, even as newcomers including Lincoln and Tesla enter the market.
  • GM at the Beijing Auto Show

    GM at the Beijing Auto Show

    Monday, April 21 2014 3:24 AM EDT2014-04-21 07:24:01 GMT
    The president of General Motors said Sunday that the company and local partners are boosting production capacity for GM-brand vehicles in China to 5 million. Speaking at the Beijing auto show, Dan Ammann said the company also expects sales of its Cadillac luxury cars to double to 100,000 next year. General Motors Co. and its Chinese partners are in the midst of what the company has said is a $12 billion investment program through 2017.
    The president of General Motors said Sunday that the company and local partners are boosting production capacity for GM-brand vehicles in China to 5 million. Speaking at the Beijing auto show, Dan Ammann said the company also expects sales of its Cadillac luxury cars to double to 100,000 next year. General Motors Co. and its Chinese partners are in the midst of what the company has said is a $12 billion investment program through 2017.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

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