Downriver Marine killed by suspected drunk driver in Texas - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

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.

  • Ron SavageRon SavageMore>>

  • Demonstrators remember activist Charity Hicks

    Demonstrators remember activist Charity Hicks

    Demonstrators remember activist Charity Hicks

    Sunday, July 20 2014 2:11 PM EDT2014-07-20 18:11:28 GMT
    The victim of a hit and run accident in Manhattan six weeks ago has died. Charity Hicks had been in a coma since being hit by a car at a bus stop on 10th Avenue May 31st. Hicks was a community activist from Detroit who helped start the anti-water shut off movement.
    The victim of a hit and run accident in Manhattan six weeks ago has died. Charity Hicks had been in a coma since being hit by a car at a bus stop on 10th Avenue May 31st. Hicks was a community activist from Detroit who helped start the anti-water shut off movement.
  • Detroit water department warns against illegal hookups amid shutoffs

    Detroit water department warns against illegal hookups amid shutoffs

    Thursday, July 17 2014 10:02 PM EDT2014-07-18 02:02:52 GMT
    Detroit water customers who are struggling to pay the water bill are finding some help - but it's illegal. Social media sites are now surfacing instructing people how to steal water. 
    Detroit water customers who are struggling to pay the water bill are finding some help - but it's illegal. Social media sites are now surfacing instructing people how to steal water. 
  • Contaminated park in Detroit has residents concerned

    Contaminated park in Detroit has residents concerned

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 11:00 PM EDT2014-07-17 03:00:24 GMT
    Tonight's informational town hall forum comes with the warning--yes there are unwanted chemicals in this park. While a natural tree planting method is the suggested strategy--some neighbors simply are not buying it.Concerned southwest Detroit residents are demanding answers about the safety of a neighborhood park. Volunteers showed up to plant trees at the park and when they did, they wore hazmat suits.The newly planted tree absorbs the chemicals into the root of the tree. It takes several ye...
    Tonight's informational town hall forum comes with the warning--yes there are unwanted chemicals in this park. While a natural tree planting method is the suggested strategy--some neighbors simply are not buying it.Concerned southwest Detroit residents are demanding answers about the safety of a neighborhood park. Volunteers showed up to plant trees at the park and when they did, they wore hazmat suits.The newly planted tree absorbs the chemicals into the root of the tree. It takes several ye...
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

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