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Driver charged in fatal crash



Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin and Upper Macungie Township Police Chief Michael J. Sitoski have announced charges were filed in a fatal crash investigation.

According to Martin on Oct. 12, Jonathan A. Richards, 39, of West Lawn, Berks County, was charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, a felony of the third degree; involuntary manslaughter, a misdemeanor of the first degree; driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance and driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance - 0.16 blood alcohol content or greater, both misdemeanors; and summary charges of reckless driving, careless driving - unintentional death, driving on roadways laned for traffic and operation following suspension of registration.

Martin said bail was set at $50,000 unsecured.

The delay in filing charges is due to Richards being hospitalized until May, he said.

“We would not file charges while the defendant was in the hospital because it would require that he be guarded at great expense,” Martin stated. “His treatment continued until recently.”

Martin said around 4:41 a.m. Jan. 17, Upper Macungie Township police were called to a two-vehicle crash on Hamilton Boulevard at Farmington Road.

Police say Wadnor Jean Louis, was found dead inside his vehicle.

The second driver, identified as Richards, was seriously injured and taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township.

Louis died from multiple blunt force injuries and his death was ruled accidental by the Lehigh County Coroner’s office.

Video surveillance showed that Richards’ Jeep was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes when it struck Louis’ vehicle nearly head on, Martin said.

He said at the time of the crash, Richards’ blood-alcohol level was allegedly 0.24 percent.