A Poconos-area police officer faces vehicular homicide charges for his role in a May 2014 collision that killed a woman, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office announced.
Steven Homanko, of Nesquehoning Borough, near Jim Thorpe, told state police that he was chasing a car he saw make an illegal pass.
But an accident reconstruction showed that Homanko was travelling at 113 mph when he lost control of his vehicle on a state highway. A video recorder in his police cruiser, designed to activate when police use their lights and sirens, somehow shut off during the chase.
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Witnesses say Homanko was driving erratically.
Homanko told investigators that he never exceeded 70 mph during the pursuit. He could not explain why the video recorder suddenly turned off, according to court documents.
Homanko’s car drifted into oncoming traffic, where it smashed into a Toyota Yaris driven by Carola Sauers and her husband Michael. Carola died. Michael was hospitalized for more than a month, police say.
In addition to vehicular homicide charges, Homanko, 26, is also charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and related traffic offenses.
Bail was set at $100,000.