A 27-year-old woman charged with homicide by vehicle and involuntary manslaughter surrendered to Falls Township police Thursday.
The charges against Ashley Sheridan of Perkiomenville stem from a October 2011 car accident that happened on the roadway that connects Route 1 to Route 32 (River Road/Bridge Street) in the Morrisville section of Falls.
The victim, Mary McGrath, 66, of Morrisville died in June. She remained in medical care since the mid-day car crash that left her with "critical injuries," according to an affidavit of probable cause. A coroner report stated she died from “multiple injuries sustained in the motor vehicle accident.”
Sheridan, who was driving to her boyfriend’s house in Morrisville, told police officers the day of the crash that all she remembered was getting onto to Route 32 and then striking the back of McGrath’s Green Chevrolet Metro, the court filing shows.
A witness investigators spoke with said he was traveling at 80 MPH on Route 1 and was passed by Sheridan’s Honda. The Honda was also seen almost striking another vehicle up ahead. The witness slowed down when he saw the Honda drifting into the right lane. Just moments later, McGrath’s car was struck on the concrete Route 32 bridge that crosses Route 1, the affidavit states.
Emergency crews from the Falls Township Fire Company were called in to extricate McGrath from her small car. Around the same time, Sheridan was taken to a waiting ambulance.
Due to extent of the 66-year-old’s injuries, police were not able to obtain a statement from her.
Police found Sheridan’s opened purse and discovered a prescription medication bottle that did not belong to her. Two oval tablets were found inside the container. Later analysis by the county crime lab showed the tablets were buprenorphine, a drug used to treat opioid addiction, records show.
Sheridan, who was living in the Langhorne section of Middletown at the time, was transported to St. Mary Medical Center and was released hours after the crash, Officer George Thomas said. She was not wearing a seat belt the day of the crash.
Thomas added that police received warrants and searched both vehicles and found no mechanical malfunctions. Sheridan's phone records revealed “no calls or text messages were sent or received prior or during the time of the accident.”
A warrant for the her arrest was issued by police on Wednesday, county records show.
Aside from the two most serious felony charges, Sheridan faces felony aggravated assault by vehicle; misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, reckless endangerment and several summary traffic offenses.
The 27-year-old was arraigned before Judge Jan Vislosky in district court on Thursday. Bail was set at $250,000. Hoever, Sheridan was released on personal recognizance, according to a court docket.