The Phoenix

Authoritie­s apprehend dump truck owner charged in fatal Lower Providence crash

Patrick Hadley Doran charged in connection with crash that killed Kellie Adams, of Lansdale, and her unborn baby

- By Carl Hessler Jr.

Authoritie­s have apprehende­d the owner of a dump truck who is charged in connection with a two-vehicle crash in Lower Providence that claimed the life of the second driver, a pregnant Lansdale woman.

Patrick Hadley Doran, 24, of Gaithersbu­rg, Md., was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals in Fairfax, Va., and his apprehensi­on was announced on Friday by Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and Lower Providence Police Chief Michael Jackson.

A warrant for Doran’s arrest had been issued on Oct. 29, 2022, and authoritie­s had been searching for him since that time.

Doran will be extradited to Montgomery County to face a preliminar­y hearing on charges of homicide by vehicle, permitting the operation of a vehicle without the proper financial responsibi­lity and numerous other summary offenses related to violations of the Pennsylvan­ia Motor Vehicle Code in connection with the Aug. 25, 2022, head-on crash in the 500 block of South Park Avenue that killed 31-year-old Kellie Adams, of Lansdale, and her unborn baby Emersyn Grace Adams.

“The defendant knew that this dump truck was not properly inspected, licensed or road-worthy, yet he recklessly put that dump truck on the road where it was turned into a lethal weapon, killing a young, pregnant mother and her unborn baby,” Steele said on Friday.

“The deaths of this beloved wife and mother and her baby have caused overwhelmi­ng heartache for the family and the community. Our team will continue to work to seek justice for the taking of these innocent lives,” Steele added.

Adams, a mother of two boys, was a 2009 graduate of North Penn High School and was a middle and high school teacher at Cottage Seven Academy in Phoenixvil­le, according to her obituary.

The driver of the dump truck, Everett James Clayton, 56, of Charleston, W. Va., was arrested in October and is currently awaiting trial on charges of thirddegre­e murder, third-degree murder of an unborn child, homicide by vehicle, careless and reckless driving and speeding in connection with the fatal crash.

With the charges against Clayton, detectives, in the criminal complaint, alleged he operated the Ford F650 XLT Super Duty dump truck with “extreme recklessne­ss and carelessne­ss at a speed in excess that he failed to maintain control of his vehicle.” Clayton failed to enter into a curve at a speed which would have permitted him to maintain control of the vehicle, Lower Providence Police Sergeant Ryan Singleton alleged in the criminal complaint.

“Clayton’s reckless and careless operation caused him to cross the center of the roadway and enter into the opposite lane of travel,” Singleton alleged.

With the charges against Doran, detectives alleged he permitted an unsafe vehicle to be operated on the road and that had he followed the regulation­s of Pennsylvan­ia’s Motor Vehicle Code as well as Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation­s and ensured that Clayton was fit to drive, “this crash could have been avoided.”

The investigat­ion began about 2:59 p.m. Aug 25, when Lower Providence police responded to a report of a two-vehicle crash with entrapment in the 500 block of South Park Avenue in the Audubon section of the township.

Arriving officers determined the crash involved the 2003 dump truck operated by Clayton, who was not injured, and a 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe operated by Adams, who was trapped in her vehicle. Adams, who was eight months pregnant at the time of the crash, died at the scene and her baby was later stillborn, according to court documents.

An autopsy determined the cause of death was blunt impact injuries to both Adams and her unborn child.

Lower Providence police crash reconstruc­tion experts determined Clayton was traveling southbound on South Park Avenue and Adams was traveling northbound at the time of the crash.

The two-lane roadway includes a double yellow painted line in the center dividing the northbound and southbound lanes and also

 ?? PHOTO BY CARL HESSLER JR. ?? Everett Clayton is escorted by a sheriff’s deputy from a Montgomery County courtroom where he was arraigned on homicide charges in connection with fatal crash.
PHOTO BY CARL HESSLER JR. Everett Clayton is escorted by a sheriff’s deputy from a Montgomery County courtroom where he was arraigned on homicide charges in connection with fatal crash.

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