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Man to serve 6 to 12 years after pleading guilty to DUI crash that killed driver, tow truck operator (PA)


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WEST EARL TOWNSHIP, Pa. —

A Virginia man who pleaded guilty to a DUI crash that killed a tow truck operator and a driver in Lancaster County last year was sentenced to six to 12 years in prison, a spokesman for the district attorney's office said.

Anthony Caldwell was driving along Route 222 in West Earl Township when he struck and killed tow truck operator Ralph Watrous, 44, and 46-year-old Robert Buckwalter, who was receiving the tow, officials said.

 

Police said they determined Caldwell, 31, had a blood-alcohol content of .088 percent shortly after the Sept. 10, 2017, crash.

Caldwell pleaded guilty to the following charges:

- Vehicular homicide while DUI (two counts)

- Vehicular homicide (two counts)

- DUI (two counts)

- Accident involving death while not properly licensed (two counts)

- Five summary traffic violations, for passing the tow truck in an immediately adjacent lane (two counts), driving while not properly licensed, reckless driving, and a lane violation

 

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He is given a measly 6-12 years for killing 2 people. Had he used a gun they would probably have given him life in prison. What’s the difference?? He still made the choice to kill two people. No excuses. Our justice system stinks. 

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For a municipality, you have to understand that DWI/DUI arrests are a business, just as crime is a business or industry The fines and fees that are generated by DWI/DUI arrests are in the hundreds of millions of dollars nationwide. You are not going to find a solution to the carnage that occurs on our roads due to impaired drivers by locking people up. DWI/DUI is a socially acceptable crime in this country. If a subject is arrested for DWI they are virtually given a slap on the wrist, fined heavily and released under minimum supervision. If that same person is involved in a fatal crash, they are demonized.

 

Laws will not protect those whose job requires them to be working on the side of the road. The move over laws, while do offer some relief, do little to protect one who is self absorbed, selfish, and addicted to social media. A certain population of people will continue to text and drive, drive after drinking a few beers, drive after taking illegal drugs, and or drive after taking prescribed medications. No law is going to stop them. There are also the population of people who drink socially, and have the belief that they will not get caught. Their mantra is, "I'll make it. I'll be fine." Reflectively, this "I'll make it. I'll be fine." is the attitude many operators take when they respond to that one call that is a perfect storm, that collision course, with the impaired driver who will have a devastating impact on their life, the lives of their family and loved ones, as well as those of their co workers.

 

This industry perpetuates an unsafe working environment not based fundamentally on the nature of the work involved, but due to the attitudes of the ownership of many companies that it will not happen to those in my fold, the operators, who have the, "I'll make it. I'll be fine. It won't happen to me attitude." As well as the industry leadership who do not work to make situational awareness and driver autonomy in judgement calls to promote safety a priority. This industry is unwilling to implement safe operator practices as a standard, but instead allows for everyone to just hope that, "I'll make it. I'll be fine. It won't happen to me."

 

How many people have been impacted this year when it did happen to them. Not just the fatalities, but the serious impairments, and the impact that these incidents have had on families and loved ones.

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