A Philadelphia area man is facing some serious criminal charges after he was involved in a fatal collision in West Caln Township. Police who responded to the crash discovered that he showed signs of intoxication and arrested him for driving under the influence (DUI).
Fatal Accident Leads to Serious DUI Arrest
The accident happened in the late evening of Wednesday, October 23, on the Route 30 Bypass just north of Sadsburyville. No fewer than three vehicles were involved in the crash, and one of the drivers was killed.
When police responded to the scene of the accident, they found that one of the drivers seemed to be under the influence. He was arrested and charged with DUI.
It is unclear if he is being accused of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or how the police determined that he was under the influence.
The driver's bail has been set at $850,000.
DUIs Involving Fatal Accidents are Vehicular Homicides
There are a lot of different types of DUI charges that you can face in Pennsylvania. Some are more severe than others. While one of the factors that can turn a typical DUI offense into one that carries higher penalties is a prior DUI offense on your driving record, another factor is the severity of any accident caused.
First-offense DUIs that do not involve a car accident or any injuries are typically misdemeanors. These incidents usually begin with a traffic stop rather than a crash.
However, DUIs can be felony offenses when they begin with an accident rather than just a traffic stop. If there are any injuries at all, no matter how minor, the result can be a charge for DUI causing injury. If the injuries are serious, the charge can be an aggravated assault by vehicle DUI.
If the injuries are fatal, the charge will be a vehicular homicide DUI under 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3735.
Some Factors in a Fatal Crash Are Out of a Driver's Control
Unfortunately, whether a car crash is a fatal one or not will hinge on numerous factors, only some of which are in a driver's control or are reasonable to expect out of a driver. For example, drivers can reduce the odds of a fatal accident by:
- Obeying the speed limit
- Keeping their eyes on the road
- Not being distracted
- Not being inebriated
However, there are some other factors that play a role in the severity of a crash, as well:
- The size of the driver's vehicle, especially when compared with the size of the victim's car
- Whether the victim was wearing a seatbelt
- The health and fitness of the victim
If these other factors line up against the driver accused of DUI, the odds of them facing a far more severe accusation for a vehicular homicide DUI increase dramatically.