An Ambler man who told police he was on drugs when he struck and killed a Lower Gwynedd teenager riding a skateboard was sentenced Tuesday to serve at least 31/2 years behind bars.

Andrew R. Meyers, 26, a heroin addict, was high on marijuana and cocaine when he sped through a Penllyn neighborhood in his pickup truck at 60 m.p.h. last March 17.

Meyers killed Natan Leuhrmann-Cowen, 13, of Penllyn, a brilliant, personable student, said Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Bradford A. Richman.

Leuhrmann-Cowen had been accepted in a Johns Hopkins University program for talented youth. He died before he could attend.

"Natan had a wide range of interests and excelled at all of them. This young man would have changed the world," Richman said.

Meyers pleaded guilty earlier in Montgomery County Court to one count each of DUI, homicide by vehicle related to DUI - a second-degree felony - and possession of a controlled substance.

The ruling by Judge Thomas P. Rogers requires Meyers to serve 31/2 to seven years in state prison and one year of probation, and to pay funeral expenses for Leuhrmann-Cowen.

The young man's mother, father, and brother spoke during the sentencing hearing in Norristown. Meyers, who his attorney said has been drug-free since the accident, apologized for the crime.

"Andrew knows his actions caused this young man's death," said attorney James P. Lyons. "He's absolutely devastated. It's a very sad case."