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Drugs Suspected in Clifton Heights Crash That Killed Teen, Injured One

Posted on Mar 03, 2014

A Lansdowne man has been charged with vehicular homicide following a two-car accident in Clifton Heights that left one teenager dead and another seriously injured earlier this year. The prosecution alleges that the driver was high on drugs at the time of the accident. Details of the crash and the ensuing charges are as follows:

Jonathan Vanderhost, 45 years old, was arrested Feb. 24 and charged with homicide by vehicle in connection with a fatal crash that occurred Jan. 12. The Clifton Heights crash killed 18-year-old Dante DeSimone and seriously injured 18-year-old Tim Robison. A third young man was uninjured.

The crash occurred shortly before 9:30 p.m. Vanderhost was behind the wheel of a 1996 Ford Taurus, and the three teens were on foot. Vanderhost was attempting to enter a McDonalds along West Baltimore Pike. He waited for the three pedestrians to cross the parking lot entrance before turning, but in doing so he turned directly in front of an oncoming pickup truck.

The impact of the crash forced the driver of the Ford F-250 onto the sidewalk. The truck crashed into the pedestrians, fatally striking DeSimone. Robison suffered serious injuries, including a lung injury and broken bones in his leg, foot and shoulders. After weeks in the hospital, Robison still requires a wheelchair and is seeking compensation with the help of Pennsylvania injury attorney Scott Cooper.

According to the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, Vanderhost was unfit to drive due to large amounts of drugs in his system. A toxicology report shows that Vanderhost was high on marijuana and was on anti-anxiety prescription medication Clonazepam. In addition to the vehicular homicide charges, he is being charged with aggravated assault while driving under the influence and reckless endangerment. He faces a minimum of three years in jail.

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