A Havertown man was charged with with vehicular manslaughter Thursday night after he struck and killed a Lansdowne bicyclist while driving drunk in Philadelphia, police said.
Paul Jones, 53, of the 500 block of Wales Road, was arrested shortly after 10:30 Thursday night. Moments after he hit the cyclist, he crashed into a minivan with two women and a child inside, said Upper Darby Superintendent Mike Chitwood. The people in that accident were not hurt, Chitwood said.
Police said 62-year-old Randall Bratu, of Lacrosse Street in Lansdowne, Pa., was bicycling home when Jones struck him from behind in a black Ford pickup truck shortly before 10:30 p.m. Bratu was thrown at least 30 yards into the air, Chitwood said, and was later pronounced dead on the scene. The accident occured in the 6400 block of Baltimore Avenue in West Philadelphia on the border of Upper Darby.
A few minutes later, police said, Jones struck the minivan in a head-on collision on Marshall Street in Lansdowne. He did not stop then, either, but the women in the car were able to tell police what the truck and driver looked like, and police broadcast the description to nearby authorities.
Moments later, police in Havertown pulled over a truck matching the description. The truck had heavy damage to the front.
Jones appeared highly intoxicated, Chitwood said, and police found a bottle of Oxycodone pills in the truck. The prescription was made out to Jones's daughter, Chitwood said.
Jones was charged with vehicular homicide, aggravated assault, driving while under the influence and related charges. He is being held on $500,000 cash bail.