Criminal charges were filed yesterday against a Moorestown High School senior who was allegedly drunk when he lost control of his car and crashed into a tree, killing another senior from the school, authorities said.

Daniel Friedmann, 18, was charged with death by auto after the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office received the results of blood tests yesterday prepared by New Jersey State Police labs, said Jack Smith, spokesman for the prosecutor's office.

Friedmann previously had been charged only with motor-vehicle summonses alleging drunk driving and reckless driving. If convicted on the new charges, Friedmann faces up to 10 years in state prison.

Evan M. Welch, the victim, was a passenger in Friedmann's 1997 Volvo shortly after midnight Dec. 10 when it skidded off Garwood Road in Moorestown, rolled over, and slammed into a tree.

The impact crushed Welch, 18, who was in the back seat. He died at the scene. A third Moorestown senior, 17, remained last night at Cooper University Hospital, where he is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, Smith said. Police said the crash site was littered with nearly three dozen full and empty beer cans.

A Burlington County judge yesterday issued a warrant for Friedmann giving him 24 hours to surrender to Moorestown police.

The accident was the first of two that week resulting in the deaths of Moorestown senior class members.

Eric Messick, 17, was killed Dec. 15 on Route 38 in Southampton when the car in which he was riding was struck head-on at high speed by another vehicle.

Contact staff writer Sam Wood
at 856-779-3838 or samwood@phillynews.com.