A Conestoga man will serve up to 10 years in prison for causing a fatal vehicle crash last year when he was speeding while under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.
Abraham R. Smith pleaded guilty Friday in Lancaster County Court to vehicular homicide while DUI and numerous related charges regarding the Feb. 24, 2019, crash on Safe Harbor Road in Manor Township.
Smith, 34, will serve 4½ to 10 years in prison, in accordance with a plea agreement.
Smith was intoxicated when his vehicle veered into oncoming traffic and struck a Mazda sedan. The driver of the sedan – 24-year-old Ian Gingerich, of Conestoga – was killed.
Gingerich’s family members and about a dozen friends attended the hearing on Friday. Ian was remembered as a loving friend, colleague, sibling and son who had a deep relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Gingerich family spoke at the sentencing hearing and expressed forgiveness. A few days prior to the hearing, the family accepted a phone call from Smith, who expressed remorse for his actions.
First Assistant District Attorney Todd E. Brown said in his career he had never seen such grace and forgiveness from a family that had experienced such tragedy.
FADA Brown said he hopes the resolution of the case, and contact with Gingerich’s family, truly impacts Smith so that Ian’s death was not in vain.
After the crash, Smith told Manor Township police he had been drinking at a relative’s house. Police also found a can of beer near Smith’s Chevy Camaro.
Police determined the Camaro was traveling 79 mph at the time of impact with the Mazda.
Blood tests revealed Smith’s blood-alcohol level was .127 percent (the legal limit for drivers is .08 percent), along with components of marijuana and cocaine.
Lancaster County Judge Dennis Reinaker accepted the plea terms and ordered sentence. Smith’s driving privileges will be suspended for eight years upon his release from prison.
Manor Township police Officer Clay Smoker filed charges.
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