2010-09-09 / Local & State

Man Charged In Motorcycle Crash That Killed 5 People

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) – A taxi driver with a history of traffic violations caused a June crash that killed five motorcyclists in central Pennsylvania, authorities said Friday.

Alfred Moore, 64, was arraigned late Thursday on vehicular homicide charges in the June 27 crash involving his cab and three motorcycles in Penn Township in Lancaster County.

Moore also faces two counts of recklessly endangering another person, reckless driving and disregarding a traffic lane.

Police found that Moore, who has had diabetes for 15 years, had severely low blood sugar at the time of the crash, the Intelligencer Journal/ Lancaster New Era newspaper and WGAL-TV reported.

“There’s no doubt that he made a conscious disregard to maintain his medical condition, which led to these terrible results,’’ Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said at a news conference. “Mr. Moore was aware of his condition. He was aware of the inherent risks of his condition if he did not eat. And he chose to take the risk.’’

Two married couples died in the collision: Samuel New Holland; and Dennis Wilhelm, 43, and his wife Amy, 50, of Manheim Township. Joshua Pennington, 27, of East Earl also died. Kristin Skowood, 27, also of East Earl, was the lone motorcycle rider to survive the crash.

Minutes before the crash, a passenger in Moore’s van demanded that he be let out because Moore was driving erratically, swerving into oncoming traffic and hitting road signs as he reached speeds of 90-100 mph, according to the criminal complaint.

Moore has a long history of traffic violations and had his drivers license suspended twice in 2008, the newspaper reported, and he had two dozen violations and paid nearly $3,000 in fines since 2002.

The paper also reported Moore was driving a Harrisburg City Cab at the time of the crash. A voicemail message left with a phone listing for the company was not immediately returned Friday.

Moore was being held at the Lancaster County Prison after failing to post $50,000 bail following his arraignment. It was not clear if he had an attorney.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 10.

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