A man from Lehigh County is facing serious charges after a car accident police say may have been the result of intoxication. Pennsylvania State Police arrested the 25-year-old man following a crash that claimed the life of a 24-year-old woman who was a passenger in his vehicle. The man has been charged with drunk driving, manslaughter and reckless endangerment for his alleged role in this tragic accident.
The crash occurred on Feb. 19 around 12:15 a.m. Police were notified via a 911 call from one of the passengers in the vehicle, which police found partially on its roof. One of the passengers, a woman, was already in an ambulance by the time police arrived at the scene, where they found two other men near the wrecked car. Police also say they found an empty vodka bottle at the scene. The woman was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead just over an hour later.
The two men, including the 25-year-old driver, were also transported to local hospitals. Police say a blood test found the driver's blood alcohol level to be .15 percent, which is well above the legal limit of .08 percent. He now faces several charges, including homicide by vehicle, driving while intoxicated and involuntary manslaughter. He was also charged with a variety of traffic infractions of a lesser type. He is set to be arraigned on Aug. 2.
In order for the man to be found guilty of drunk driving, Pennsylvania authorities will have to prove that the blood test performed at the hospital was accurate based on the time the accident actually happened. Testing blood for alcohol levels is not always an exact science, as a variety of factors can influence how alcohol is metabolized by the body. If authorities cannot convince a jury the man was drunk when the crash occurred, it could result in the dismissal of the charges filed against him.
Source: wfmz.com, "Slatington man charged in fatal DUI crash", Edward Sieger, July 19, 2016