A Canadian man is under arrest following a serious car accident police believe was predicated on intoxication. The 48-year-old Toronto man was arrested by Pennsylvania authorities and now faces charges, including homicide by vehicle while drunk driving and aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI as well. He was arraigned on May 8, and the investigation into the incident is still in progress.
According to the accident report, the man told officers he had two beers and a double shot of whiskey before leaving a local bar on the evening of April 28. Around 6:45 p.m. he was traveling northbound in his pickup truck when he struck a guard rail. This caused him to cross back into the northbound lanes and strike a ride-share vehicle operated by Lyft. A male passenger in the Lyft, 57, was rushed to a local hospital with critical injuries and was pronounced dead the following day.
The deceased man's wife also suffered serious injury, and the Lyft driver escaped with only minor injuries. When police arrived on the scene, they say the Canadian man smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes. Two field sobriety tests were conducted, both of which he is said to have failed. A breath test returned a blood alcohol level of .162, over twice the legal limit in Pennsylvania.
Drunk driving charges can carry serious penalties, even for foreign visitors to Pennsylvania. However, the prosecution will have to use their accrued evidence to prove the man was drunk at the time of the crash. His defense team will carefully review the alleged field sobriety testing to determine if the tests were properly conducted and in accordance with the man's rights under the law. This investigation will help them to build a compelling defense against the serious charges filed against him.
Source: NBC Philadelphia, "Drunken Driver Crashes Into Lyft Vehicle, Killing Passenger and Injuring 2 Others, Police Say", David Chang, May 8, 2018