A Lancaster man is charged with being intoxicated when he caused a fatal two-car collision earlier this year in Pequea Township.
Southern Regional police charged Benjamin R. Manotti, 38, with homicide by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle, hit-and-run, DUI, and related counts regarding the Jan. 16 crash in the 2100 block of Millersville Road.
Gregory Pizarro, 33, died as a result of the crash, caused by Manotti’s Chevy Blazer veering into oncoming traffic and striking Pizarro’s Ford Taurus head-on.
Testing after the crash showed Manotti’s blood-alcohol level was .239 percent, about three times the Pennsylvania limit (.08 percent) for drivers.
It is Manotti’s third DUI charge since 2005. At the time of the crash, he was driving without a license, which has been suspended since a 2007 DUI conviction.
Southern Regional police Cpl. John Michener filed charges. Manotti had been recovering in a local hospital from injuries sustained in the crash. He was discharged Friday morning and immediately taken into custody. He was taken for arraignment before District Judge William Benner, who set bail at $1,000,000. Manotti failed to post bail and was committed to Lancaster County Prison.
Assistant District Attorney Maria Cusick approved filing of the charges.
Manotti initially told police the other vehicle swerved into his SUV. However, witnesses to the crash told police it was Manotti’s SUV that veered into opposing traffic.
One witness told police the Taurus – which Pizarro was driving – had no time to react or avoid the impact.
Also, first-responders noticed an obvious odor of alcohol while treating Manotti, who was hurt and had to be extricated from his SUV.
The police investigation of the crash showed Manotti failed to negotiate a left curve while driving west on Millersville Road (route 741). Marks on the road showed impact happened in the eastbound lane (Pizarro’s lane of travel).
Manotti is presumed innocent.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @BrettHambright