Man charged with vehicular homicide in Phoenixville woman’s death
NORRISTOWN >> A 19-yearold Lower Salford man has been arrested and charged with vehicular homicide and other charges in connection with a September crash in Upper Providence that claimed the life of a 57-year-old woman.
Kurt Thomas Kucharik, of the 400 block of Main Street in Lower Salford, was taken into custody and arraigned Oct. 27 before Limerick Magisterial District Judge Walter Gadzicki on third-degree felony homicide by vehicle, second-degree misdemeanor reckless endangerment, and four related summary traffic-related criminal counts for the Sept. 20 early morning three-car crash that killed Catherine Boyle, of Phoenixville, and hospitalized Kucharik.
Investigators said in court documents that the crash occurred at about 6 a.m. on Trappe Road near Paperbirch Drive, when Kucharik, who was driving a Scion TC, crossed over the double-yellow line and struck Boyle’s Hyundai Elantra head-on. A Honda Civic driven by a man was also involved in the collision, police said.
Boyle, who was trapped inside her car, was pronounced dead at the scene by responding medics while Kucharik, who was extricated from his vehicle by fire personnel and transported to an area hospital with face and leg injuries, investigators said. The third driver was not injured after he steered his car off the road in an attempt to avoid the crash but struck Boyle’s car, causing minor damage to his Civic.
During the ensuing investigation, Kucharik, who voluntarily provided a blood sample after he was taken to the hospital, told detectives that he hadn’t consumed any alcohol or illegal drugs prior to the crash, that he was not using his cellphone, and that he didn’t think he fell asleep or passed out before the crash, and was ultimately unable to think of any reason why he crossed the double-yellow line, according to court documents.
Investigators determined that Kucharik had been driving 52 miles per hour when the crash occurred, the affidavit of probable cause indicates; the posted speed limit on that stretch of road is 45 miles per hour. Police also concluded that Kucharik had not been using his cellphone at the time of the collision, nor did his car have any mechanical problems that might have contributed to the crash.
Kucharik told police during the investigation that he was on three prescription medications, and had last taken them approximately eight hours before the fatal crash; toxicology reports showed that all three drugs were within therapeutic levels, according to detectives, and nothing in charging documents indicates those medications may have had anything to do with the crash.
Kucharik is free on $50,000 unsecured bail while awaiting a Nov. 10 preliminary hearing in the case.