An 18-year-old Manheim man is charged with vehicular homicide while DUI and other charges regarding a high-speed, New Year’s Eve crash in Rapho Township that killed a girl and seriously injured another girl.
Manheim Borough police charged Jeremy Michael Roland in connection with the Dec. 31 crash in the 1300 block of Route 72 (Lebanon Road). Roland had smoked marijuana before driving and was under the influence of three prescription substances, police determined.
A 17-year-old girl was killed in the crash, and a 13-year-old girl sustained a broken leg. A third juvenile passenger in the Mazda sport-utility vehicle sustained a wrist injury and bruised chest.
A reconstruction of the crash revealed the Mazda veered off Route 72 and Roland made no attempts to break or steer back onto the road. The Mazda crashed into a cinder block detached garage.
Manheim Borough police Sgt. Jason Riggle charged Roland with vehicular homicide while DUI, aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, hit-and-run, three counts of reckless endangerment, three counts of DUI, and three summary violations.
Assistant District Attorney Jared Hinsey approved the charges.
District Judge Scott Albert arraigned Roland Wednesday afternoon and set bail at $500,000 unsecured.
Sgt. Riggle provided the following narrative of the crash, based on the reconstruction and other information:
Roland was driving north on Route 72, in a 45-mph zone, when the Mazda veered off the road, at about 80 mph. The Mazda traveled over fields, driveways, and through shrubs and fences before impact with the garage.
The reconstruction and vehicle inspection showed steering would have been functioning, but Roland failed to take evasive action.
Following the crash, police found the 17-year-old girl deceased in the SUV. The 13-year-old girl was outside the SUV. Neither were wearing seatbelts at the time of impact. Roland, as driver, had an obligation to make sure those passengers wore seatbelts because they were juveniles.
Police found marijuana in the SUV. Individuals told police that Roland had smoked marijuana prior to driving.
Blood tests showed three other substances in Roland’s system – Topiramate, Flouxetine, and Norflouxetine – all prescription medications. Roland had been made aware those substances had adverse side effects for driving, including drowsiness. Topiramate is an anti-seizure medication; Flouxetine and Norflouxetine are metabolites of an anti-depressant medication.
After the crash, Roland made attempts to leave the scene. The property owner made him stay until police arrived.
Roland is presumed innocent.
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