Catasauqua Press

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Driver charged in crash that killed Catty passenger

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 by CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE in Police Log

Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin announced July 11 an Allentown man has been charged in relation to a fatal crash.

Corey Sickler, 26, of 315 Linden St., Allentown, has been charged with one count each of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, a felony of the second degree, and homicide by vehicle and accidents involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed, both felonies of the third degree.

Sickler also is charged with two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance, a misdemeanor, and one count each of involuntary manslaughter, a misdemeanor of the first degree; recklessly endangering another person, a misdemeanor of the second degree; fleeing or attempting to elude police officer, a misdemeanor of the second degree; and driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked, a misdemeanor of the third degree.

In addition, he is charged with one count each of the following summary offenses: driving on roadways laned for traffic, following too closely, driving vehicle at a safe speed, careless driving and reckless driving. He is charged with two counts of stop sign and yield sign violations, also a summary offense.

Sickler was arraigned through central booking by Magisterial District Judge Daniel Trexler. Bail was set at $75,000, unsecured.

According to the report, on Jan. 31, at approximately 2:15 a.m., troopers from Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), Troop M, Bethlehem, were dispatched to the scene of a crash at the intersection of Potomac and East Susquehanna streets, Salisbury Township. Upon arrival, troopers found multiple Salisbury Township Police Department vehicles present as well as a gray sedan with heavy front-end damage.

At the crash site, Trooper Blake Shortall, of PSP, spoke with Cpl. Charles Whitehead, of Salisbury Township Police Department. Whitehead requested PSP handle the investigation because of his involvement with the incident.

The investigation revealed that at approximately 1:57 a.m., Whitehead observed a gray sedan traveling westbound on Emaus Avenue in Salisbury Township. Whitehead said he witnessed the driver of that vehicle allegedly commit multiple traffic violations. In response, Whitehead activated his emergency lights and siren to conduct a traffic stop of the gray sedan. Eventually, the vehicle pulled off of Emaus Avenue onto Potomac Street, Whitehead said.

The sedan was identified by its license plate as a 2002 Hyundai XG350 registered to a Malini Ramnarine, of Catasauqua.

While still in his vehicle, Whitehead observed two occupants in the Hyundai, he said.

After Whitehead exited his vehicle, approached the Hyundai and knocked on the passenger-side window, the vehicle fled the traffic stop at a high rate of speed, traveling north on Potomac Street. Whitehead said he re-entered his vehicle and began to follow the Hyundai. As he followed the vehicle, he observed that the acceleration of the Hyundai increased until it abruptly stopped at the intersection of Potomac and Susquehanna streets.

When Whitehead reached the intersection, he said he observed that the Hyundai had sustained heavy damage as a result of striking a large concrete/stone wall along the shoulder of Susquehanna Street. In addition, he said, he saw a male, identified as Sickler, lying in the roadway approximately 25 feet from the driver’s side of the vehicle.

Whitehead said he then looked inside the Hyundai and found an unresponsive male seated in the front passenger seat. That passenger, Terrance Ramnarine, 27, of Race Street, Catasauqua, was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the neck and torso resulting from the crash.

Sickler was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital, Fountain Hill, where he received treatment for his injuries and had blood samples taken. Warrants were obtained for those samples, according the report.

As a result of the investigation, it was determined that Sickler was driving the Hyundai at the time of the crash, Martin said, adding that Sickler’s driver’s license had been suspended in December 2016 and had not been restored in January 2018.

According to Martin, it is alleged that Sickler was grossly negligent and caused the crash that resulted in the death of Ramnarine.