Arrested on charges of homicide by vehicle, DUI
Authorities said a Lansdale man was driving under the influence of alcohol and was speeding when he crashed his Honda Civic into a tree in Salford Township, killing his friend.
The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office and Pennsylvania State Police announced last week they have charged Sean Christopher Sperl, 21, of the 900 block of Crest Road, with homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence of alcohol and related offenses in the accident.
According to authorities, Sperl was driving in the 400 block of Ridge Road shortly after midnight April 23 with two passengers, Ryan Petrille and an unidentified man, when he lost control of his vehicle. Police said they have determined his car was going between 83 and 93 miles per hour around a curve at the time of the crash before it hit a utility pole.
Sperl, according to authorities, was also driving under the influence of alcohol. Following the crash, his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .175 percent, they said, more than twice the legal limit. Authorities also said they located several beer cans in the road and adjacent field at the crash site, as well as an opened bottle of whiskey.
Authorities said upon arriving at the location, they found Petrille with traumatic face and neck injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene. They couldn’t find anyone else involved in the accident.
According to witnesses near the scene, they saw two males panicking outside, police said. Authorities said one of the witnesses heard someone say, “Sean, dude you can’t leave. There is blood everywhere. You were the driver yo, dude yo.”
The two men allegedly fled the scene as a passerby stopped and yelled for someone to call 911.
Around 3:25 a.m. state police were called to a nearby home after a homeowner said an unknown man knocked on his door and asked if there was a party there. Police later identified the man as Sperl and Sperl reportedly told troopers he thought he had been in an accident and someone had died.
Further investigation revealed Sperl and his two friends had been at a Philadelphia Phillies game earlier in the day and Sperl had drunk beer and whiskey throughout the evening.
He was arraigned by District Judge Catherine Hummel-Fried last Wednesday. He was released on $50,000 cash bail, 10 percent. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for today at 2 p.m. in Red Hill.