Ferries’ family says Winkis is not receiving proper justice

Thomas Winkis. Credit: District Attorney's office.
Thomas Winkis. Credit: District Attorney’s office.

The family of David Farries, who was killed in a car accident by a veteran police officer who was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in September, said they are not taking his death sitting down.

On Friday, the family will rally outside City Hall Friday at lunchtime to protest the treatment of their father’s killer.

“If it was anybody else they would be in jail right now, waiting for their trial,” said Christine Farries, the oldest of four daughters. He also left behind seven grand children.

Sgt. Thomas Winkis, a 21-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police force, crashed into Farries van just before midnight on Sept. 14 on State Road near Ashburner in Holmesburg. He was off-duty. Farries, 55, died a day later.

Winkis, 45, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and vehicular homicide while driving under the influence.

Winkis was released on 10 percent of $50,000 bail last month, and was fired from the force.

The family says a $5,000 bail is a pittance for a police officer who killed a civilian while allegedly under the influence of alcohol.

And for his lack of regret.

“He hasn’t even reached out to anyone,” Christine said. “Can you at least tell the family that, ‘I’m really sorry, this was an accident?’”

Christine said she is also “disgusted” about reports linking his ex-wife’s funeral and the accident. Winkis’ ex-wife, Michelle, who was also a cop at the time of her death, died four days after Labor Day from an aneurysm. Her funeral was held two days before the accident.

“Like that’s a reason to do what he did. It’s not,” Christine said. ”His ex-wife had nothing to do with this situation and it makes me sick how they keep playing off of that, like trying to make the public feel bad for them,” she said. “He’s the one that made the decision.”

A 20-year-old girl, who was riding shotgun in Winkis’ car, also suffered minor injuries.

“I feel bad for his kids, too,” she said. “We’re not the only  one who lost a parent, but she had a medical condition.

“He was ripped out of our life.”

 Rally

The rally will start at 11:30 in the courtyard of City Hall.

“I bought a bull horn, and I rented a bus,” she said. “I’m serious. He’s not going to get away with this.”

It’s not a game, she said. Winkis killed her father.

“What makes it so unfair,” she said. “Is we have to fight for justice.”

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