Man charged with ve­hic­u­lar homi­cide in Phoenixville wo­man’s death

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Michael Gold­berg mgold­berg@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @mg_there­porter on Twit­ter

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.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF THE MONT­GOMERY COUNTY DISTRICT AT­TOR­NEY’S OF­FICE

Kurt Kucharik

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