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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bristol Township

Bristol Twp Man Convicted of 3rd Degree Murder for DUI Crash that Killed 2

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A Bristol Township man was found guilty Friday of two counts of third degree murder for a drunk driving crash that killed two and seriously injured two others on I-95 in Bristol Township in December of 2019.

Kevin R. Peters, 38 of the 400 block of Stanford Road,was also convicted of two counts each of involuntary manslaughter, homicide by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, aggravated assault by vehicle, aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person.

Peters was driving a Mazda CX-5 SUV more than 100 mph when he rear-ended a minivan around 1 a.m. on Dec. 6, 2019 in the southbound lane of Interstate 95 in Bristol Township, causing the minivan to veer off the roadway into the shoulder where it collided with the concrete barrier. There, the car burst into flames, killing backseat passengers Juan Jose Tavarez-Santelises, 20, and Claribel Dominguez, 35, both of Philadelphia who were unable to get out. The driver and front passenger, the father and brother of the male victim, each suffered severe burns and injuries but managed to escape with their lives

Following the conviction, Common Pleas Judge Diane E. Gibbons also found Peters guilty of two counts of driving under the influence and summary offenses of following too closely, reckless driving, disregarding a traffic lane and driving at an unsafe speed.   Gibbons revoked bail and Peters was taken into custody as he awaits sentencing, which was deferred to a later date.

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Data from the Mazda’s onboard computer showed Peters was traveling at a speed of at least 106 mph in the seconds just prior to the crash. The data also showed Peters applied the brake no more than 4/10 of a second prior to impact and the throttle on his SUV was at 85 percent of full capacity, one second prior to impact.

The victims were on their way home from work. The investigation found that Peters had been drinking at a work function in Philadelphia that began at 5 p.m. and later headed to a bar. He testified he was offered a ride home from Philadelphia.

Video surveillance played at trial showed Peters in different Philadelphia establishments and also captured him struggling to exit a parking garage. He eventually broke a security gate to leave, the video showed. Video also showed Peters driving with his taillights off and run a stop sign at N. 18th and Cherry streets in Philadelphia.

An investigation by Pennsylvania State Police determined Peters left center city Philadelphia approximately one hour before the crash. He went over the Scudder Falls Bridge onto I-95 north and I-295 east, passing up the exits closest to his home, and his erratic driving prompted two 911 calls within three seconds of each other.  Peters abruptly exited and got back onto I-295 west, which turns into I-95 south.  He testified that while he was driving, he reached down to the passenger floor to get his phone out of a bag. When he looked up, he crashed into the minivan.  A blood draw performed two hours after the crash indicated Peters had a blood-alcohol concentration of at least .151 while driving.

Gibbons revoked bail and Peters was taken into custody as he awaits sentencing, which was deferred to a later date.

This case was investigated by Pennsylvania State Police and was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney David A. Keightly Jr.

 

 

Cops, Courts & Fire -Bristol Township

Turnpike Commission: Traffic Disruptions along the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-95 in Bristol Township

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The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is warning motorists of expected traffic disruptions along the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-95 in Bristol Township due to an ongoing bridge rehabilitation project.

Starting this week, drivers merging onto I-95 northbound from the Delaware Valley Interchange acceleration ramp will encounter a temporary stop sign. The stop sign is in place through August 11 and is being placed to facilitate safe merging near the Levittown/Bristol Interchange (Exit 42). Additionally, on Friday, July 19, from midnight to 5 a.m. traffic pacing operations will slow vehicles to 20 to 25 mph. The intermittent 15-minute slowdowns at milepost 42.35 are planned for the safety of motorists and construction crews working on the bridge over the East Penn Railroad.

Motorists traveling eastbound and westbound on the Turnpike and northbound and southbound on I-95 in Bucks County are advised to adjust their travel plans accordingly. Pennsylvania State Police and Turnpike personnel will be on-site to guide drivers through the work zones. Travelers can also expect updates from changeable message signs along the routes, according to officials. Officials noted that the work schedule may change depending on weather conditions.

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bristol Township

Bristol Twp Undercover Operation Nets Alleged Crack Dealer

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A Bristol Borough man is facing serious drug related charges after he was arrested by Bristol Township Detectives following two undercover buys of “crack” cocaine.

According to police, James Edwards III, 30, became the focus of a drug investigation in Bristol Township for distribution of “crack” cocaine.  On May 29, Edwards allegedly delivered .79 grams of the drug to a confidential informant between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.  On the same day, between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., Edwards is alleged to have delivered .82 grams of the potent drug to a confidential informant.

Edwards was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Daniel Baranoski on Tuesday on felony two counts of manufacture, delivery, possession of a controlled substance.  He was released on unsecured bail and  is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on July 31 at Bristol Borough District Court.

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bristol Township

Citizens Tip Leads to Beach’s Hardware Burglar Caught Red-Handed

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A Milwaukee, Wisconsin man is in Bucks County Jail charged for breaking and entering into a very popular hardware store in Bristol Township last week thanks to the help of a vigilant citizen

According to court records at just after 2:30 a.m. on July 12 an officer was approached by a witness who told him the front window to Beach’s Hardware Store 3101 Veterans Highway was smashed noting it was the window on the Ford Road side of the business. Upon arrival officers checked the doors to the business, finding them secure and located the broken window on Ford Rd. While looking through a glass door with his flashlight an officer observed man, later identified as Myron Vacca, 41, inside the business standing behind the front counter to be manipulating the cash register. The suspect ignored police commands to come out of the hardware store leading officers to establish a perimeter around the business as Vacca sought a pathway to escape. The suspect finally came out and surrendered to police.

The business was checked and cleared by other responding officers and a K-9 unit. Officers located a large piece of lumber that appeared to be used to smash the Ford Rd side window. Mr. Robert Beach told police the cost to fix the broken glass would be $750.00, court records show.

Vacca was charged with felony burglary, felony trespass  and one count of possessing an instrument of crime. He was jailed in lieu of 10 percent of $100,000.00 and scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on July 31. Vacca has no attorney of record at this time, according to court records.

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