Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Car crashes claim 4 lives

In some, DUI was a factor

Cop was hurt and 3 cars were damaged in this crash at 6th & Spring Garden early Saturday.
Cop was hurt and 3 cars were damaged in this crash at 6th & Spring Garden early Saturday.Read moreTOM KELLY III/For the Daily News

Three DUI-related crashes on area roadways left two people dead and a police officer injured yesterday morning.

The lives of an Army reservist and his female passenger also were cut short Friday evening when both were killed in an accident on Roosevelt Boulevard.

Yesterday morning's series of driving-under-the-influence-related wrecks began in Nether Providence Township, Delaware County, about 1 a.m. when, police said, Dustin Fraim tried to change lanes on northbound Interstate 476, near the Media-Swarthmore exit.

According to police reports, Fraim, 27, of Clifton Heights, was traveling at a high rate of speed in his 2004 Ford Mustang when he attempted to change lanes and struck the rear of Frederick Hofsaess' 2005 Ford Escape.

Hofsaess' car spun out of control, struck a guardrail and flipped on its roof, police said. Hofsaess, 61, of Perkasie, survived the crash, but his 61-year-old wife and passenger, Elizabeth, died.

Police said both had been wearing their seatbelts.

Hofsaess and Fraim, who was not wearing his seatbelt, were taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center, where they were treated and released, according to a nursing supervisor.

Police said Fraim "exhibited signs of intoxication" and is now under investigation for DUI.

At 2:24 a.m. in the city's Frankford section, on Margaret Street near Tackawanna, a 33-year-old man driving a 2005 Hyundai Elantra in the wrong direction on Margaret slammed into a telephone pole, said Sgt. Larry Ritchie, of the police Accident Investigation Division.

A 20-year-old man riding in the car was pronounced dead at the scene. A 31-year-old female passenger was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital with a broken leg, a broken hip and facial lacerations. She was in stable condition, said Yolanda Dawkins, a police spokeswoman.

The driver, taken to Hahnemann with face and neck pain, also remained in stable condition, police said.

Dawkins and Ritchie said the driver was arrested for DUI, but they declined to release his blood-alcohol content, his name or the names of his passengers.

A police officer suffered a broken pelvis, a broken leg and internal injuries after her cruiser was broadsided by a drunken driver on Stenton Avenue near Johnson Street about 4 a.m. yesterday, Ritchie said.

The 14th District officer was responding to a call when an intoxicated man ran a red light on Johnson and struck her cruiser on the driver's side, police said.

The officer, who had to be cut from her vehicle, was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center. She was reported in stable condition, according to police.

The driver of the offending vehicle, whose name has not been released, was arrested "on the scene" for DUI, Dawkins said.

The weekend of deadly crashes began at 7:30 p.m. Friday, along Roosevelt Boulevard near Winchester Avenue, when an Army reservist traveling in the northbound lane of the Boulevard lost control of his car and crossed into the southbound lane.

The car was struck on the passenger's side by an oncoming vehicle, causing the reservist and his female passenger to be ejected.

The reservist was then run over by a second oncoming motorist, Ritchie said. He and his passenger were pronounced dead at the scene.

Ritchie was unable to release the name of the driver, though he did confirm the man's military status. He said the identity of the female passenger remains unknown.

The crash is still under investigation but Ritchie said police believe the driver was speeding and that neither of the occupants was wearing a seatbelt.

The operators and passengers from the other two vehicles involved in the crash were transported to Nazareth Hospital, complaining of "bumps and bruises," Dawkins said.

Investigators have not determined that the Friday-night crash was DUI-related. *