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Charges Filed Against State Trooper In Fatal Pa. Turnpike Crash

By Brad Segall, Walt Hunter

UPPER DUBLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — A Pennsylvania state trooper has now been charged with a drunk-driving homicide in connection with a deadly crash last month on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Upper Dublin (Montgomery County) that killed a young Philadelphia woman.

Prosecutors say Barry Searfoss spent May 18th, his day off, drinking beer at a golf outing in Bucks County — an outing that raised scholarship money in honor of a woman killed fifteen years ago by a drunk driver.

They say the Coatesville, Pa. man was drunk when he got behind the wheel of his truck at about 10 p.m. and drove west on the turnpike, where he rearended a Lincoln SUV driven by 21-year-old Robin Williams.  The car caught fire and she died at the scene.

“From immediately upon his arrival until he left the building, we believe he was drinking,” says Montgomery County DA Risa Ferman, “so you’re talking about nine hours of drinking beer.”

Ferman says his blood alcohol level was 0.188% — more than double the legal limit.  At the time of the crash the Lincoln was having mechanical problems and was slowing down (see related story).   She says Searfoss had been speeding.

The homicide-by-vehicle DUI charge carries a mandatory minimum of three years behind bars.  Searfoss has been suspended without pay.

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