A man in Earl Township is facing serious charges following an accident that killed two people, according to local and state police. Pennsylvania authorities responded to the car accident and have charged the 30-year-old man with vehicular homicide while drunk driving, as well as several other charges. No court date has been announced at this time. The man was arraigned in a local court, but he was unable to pay the $750,000 bail fee and so remains in custody.
According to the arrest report, witnesses observed a van allegedly driven by the accused man moving erratically on a roadway around 1:50 a.m. on Sept. 10. The man’s van veered right, across a fog line on Route 222, where a tow truck had stopped to render aid to a disabled vehicle. The driver of the tow truck, a 44-year-old man, was out of his vehicle assisting the driver of the disabled car, who was also on the roadside. The van reportedly struck both men after the driver failed to observe the emergency lights on the tow truck.
Both men were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver allegedly admitted to police that he had been drinking at a friend’s home prior to getting behind the wheel. A subsequent test conducted shortly after the accident showed a blood alcohol level of 0.88, above the legal limit of 0.80. He now faces a litany of charges, the most serious being the vehicular homicide by DUI charges, each of which carry a minimum 3-year sentence.
In order for the drunk driving charges to result in a conviction, however, Pennsylvania prosecutors will have to prove the man was intoxicated when the accident took place. Depending how long the test took to administer, the results could be considered inadmissible in court, as blood alcohol level can change drastically in a short period of time. The man’s defense counsel could choose to argue that he was not over the limit when the accident took place, which could have the effect of reducing the charges against him.
Source: lancasteronline.com, “Man charged with DUI in West Earl Township roadside crash that killed tow truck driver, motorist“, Lindsey Blest, Dec. 7, 2017