A Slatington man has been charged with numerous criminal counts, including driving under the influence (DUI) of a controlled substance, in connection with a fatal accident that took the life of two elderly women.
State police at Bethlehem charged Robert G. Hetten III, 24, of 418 W. Center Ave., for a crash that occurred on May 4 along SR873 in North Whitehall Township. Killed in the crash was Mary Ellen Koch, 74, the driver, and passenger, Emma J. Sensinger, 83, both were residents of George Dilliard Manor, a senior citizens high rise in Slatington. Koch died at the scene and Sensinger later at the Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township. A second passenger, Jean Gardner, 74, also of the Dilliard Manor, was seriously injured in the crash.
Troopers have charged Hetten with the following criminal charges: Homicide by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, three counts each of accidents involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed, reckless endangerment, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and summary motor vehilce code violations of driving without a license, careless driving and reckless driving.
He was arraigned before Districtd Judge Jacob Hammond, of Allentown, and committed to the county prison after failing to post $250,000 bail.
Troopers said Koch was southbound when Hetten's vehicle crossed the center line and collided head-on into her vehicle.
Hetten was taken to the LVH for treatment of injuries. Blood was drawn and test results revealed methadone, cannabinoids and benzodiazepine in his system, troopers said in arrest papers. Troopers also said they found 26.8 grams of marijuana on Hetten and a search of his vehicle later found more marijuana and hashish.