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Bucks Man Charged in Elderly Pedestrian's Death

Bucks man driving SUV accused of striking and killing Helen Kemmerer, 85, as she crossed Kings Highway South in Upper Milford on Memorial Day weekend.

By Jack Tobias

A Bucks County man driving an SUV is facing a homicide by vehicle charge for striking and killing an 85-year-old woman on Memorial Day weekend as she crossed Kings Highway South in Upper Milford Township not far from her home, the Lehigh County district attorney announced Thursday.

Christopher J. Murphy, 33, of 209 Tanager Court, Warrington, is also facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, driving without a valid license and driving at an unsafe speed in the death of Helen L. Kemmerer, who was crossing the road at 6670 Kings Highway South around 11:25 a.m. May 25, a Saturday.

Kemmerer, who lived at 6625 Kings Highway South, was pronounced dead at the scene. The southbound SUV was parked along the road about 100 yards south of the point of impact and Murphy was standing along the roadside, the DA's office said, quoting from a probable cause affidavit.

A state police trooper concluded that Murphy's failure to recognize that Kemmerer was crossing the road—despite having more than the minimum distance to observe and react to her—was the cause of the collision, the affidavit said.

The trooper, who is a collision analysis reconstruction specialist, determined that a vehicle would have needed a minimum of 140 feet of roadway to avoid a collision and that Murphy had more than 400 feet of unobstructed roadway to see Kemmerer and avoid hitting her, the affidavit said.

The full list of charges against Murphy is: homicide by vehicle, accidents involving death or personal injury while not property licensed, involuntary manslaughter, recklessly endangering another person, driving without a valid license, driving at an unsafe speed, reckless driving and careless driving.

Online court records say the charges against Murphy were filed Thursday with District Judge Donna Butler of Emmaus but that he has yet to be arraigned.

Kemmerer's obituary said she was a homemaker and the wife of the late Leonard C. Kemmerer. She was survived by a daughter.

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