Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Charges Filed Against Police Officer Involved in Fatal Crash
Steven M. Homanko, 26, 40 Third St., Beaver Meadows, is charged with one count each of homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault by vehicle, among other charges.
He was charged in connection with the May 12, 2014 crash on state Route 209 that claimed the life of Carola Sauers. Sauers' husband, Michael, also was hospitalized for roughly one month after the crash and required multiple surgeries during his recovery, a Pennsylvania State Police investigation determined.
Five witnesses told state police they spotted Homanko speeding and driving carelessly on state Route 93 prior to the crash, which occurred roughly 1½ miles north of Nesquehoning Borough, Carbon County, the state police report said. Moreover, it was determined through an accident investigation and reconstruction that Homanko was driving approximately 113 mph prior to the crash, state police determined.
Interviews revealed Homanko was giving chase to a woman in a Dodge Neon after she illegally passed another vehicle. Homanko allegedly lost control of his police cruiser during the chase, causing the cruiser to cross into the opposite lane of travel, where it struck a Toyota Yaris carrying Carola Sauers and her husband.
Homanko is also charged with recklessly endangering another person, reckless driving, failure to drive at a safe speed, failure to drive on the right side of the roadway and two counts of careless driving. His bail was set at $100,000 unsecured at a preliminary arraignment today. A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for May 13.
The case will be prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Anthony W. Forray, of the Office of Attorney General's Criminal Prosecution Section.
(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)