NORRISTOWN — Describing him as a menace and an “out-of-control bully” on the roadway, a judge has sent a Lehigh County man to prison for several years on charges of speeding and driving under the influence when he committed Two-car crash , a head-on crash in Lower Providence that killed the other driver, a Chester County resident, and injured several others.
Devon Michael Lindeman, 24, of the 3400 block of Cambridge Circle, South Whitehall Township, was sentenced Monday in Montgomery County Circuit Court to 4 years, 9 months to 9 1/2 years in the state penitentiary on a charge of vehicular manslaughter while driving by car. under the influence of alcohol, aggravated assault by vehicle while intoxicated, reckless endangerment, reckless endangerment and speeding in connection with a fatal accident on September 18, 2021, in the 400 block of South Park- Avenue in Lower Providence.
Paul E. Conaway, 63, of Chester County, was killed in the crash and two passengers in Conaway’s vehicle and two passengers in Lindemann’s vehicle were seriously injured.
“You were a menace and a danger behind the wheel, driving down the road like an out of control hooligan. You have put everyone in this community of Lower Providence at risk,” Judge Wendy Demczyk-Alow told Lindemann sternly.
“It was not an accident. This was DUI homicide, not an accident. You made a choice: get intoxicated, get drunk, and then decide to get behind the wheel,” Demchik-Aloy added.
The sentence included a three-year mandatory term sought by prosecutors on the vehicular manslaughter while DUI charge and some consecutive prison time on some of the other charges. Lindeman previously pleaded guilty to the charges.
Assistant District Attorney Megan Carney argued that the consecutive sentences were warranted given Lindemann’s behavior.
“There were several victims in this case. He had about three in his system that night, a double rum and coke…He decided to go to a bar, he decided to order one drink, two drinks and three drinks, and then he decided to get behind the wheel and drive at an excessive rate of speed,” claimed Carney. “It was the defendant’s actions that led to a horrific situation.”
Data from Lindeman’s 2021 BMW airbag control module indicated that the vehicle was traveling 68 mph in a 40 mph zone at the time of impact. Authorities said Conaway’s car was going 39 miles per hour.
A subsequent blood test showed Lindemann had a blood-alcohol content of 0.104 percent, over the legal limit of 0.08 percent, according to arrest affidavits.
Investigators say the cause of the crash was directly related to Lindeman’s level of disability, as well as his speed and manner of driving.
“The nature of this crash and the forces exchanged during the crash support the conclusion that Devon Lindemann was operating his vehicle at an excessive rate of speed while intentionally accelerating while intoxicated,” Lower Providence Police Officer William Arthur wrote in an affidavit. arrest. adding that Lindemann was driving “with extreme recklessness and carelessness” and failed to maintain a proper lane while intoxicated.
Lindeman apologized for his behavior before learning his fate.
“My actions were irresponsible. I sincerely apologize for the damage I caused,” said Lindemann, who was supported in court by about a dozen relatives and friends.
Attorney David Jay Glassman argued that Lindeman is remorseful, receiving treatment and has become a different person since the fatal crash.
“He didn’t choose to go out and injure or kill anybody on the highway that day,” Glassman said. “What he is looking for is the future. We have a lot to build on with Devon.”
But Lindemann’s legal troubles weren’t over.
Lindeman is still awaiting trial in Lehigh County Circuit Court on vehicular homicide and related charges in connection with the June 21, 2020, crash that claimed the lives of Robert and Mary O’Rourke of Lower Macungie Township. Lindeman was driving a truck southbound on Route 145 in North Whitehall Township when he allegedly collided head-on with a northbound motorcycle driven by O’Rourke.
Lindeman was charged in the Lehigh County crash in December 2021, three months after the Montgomery County crash.
Affidavits showed that Conaway and his passengers were driving home from a family wedding at the time of the crash in Lower Providence.
Judy Arena, Conaway’s partner, who was a passenger in Conaway’s car and was seriously injured, testified that the crash left her physically and emotionally scarred.
“The events of the accident haunt me constantly,” Arena told the judge, describing Conaway as someone who had a “magnetic personality and an infectious smile” and who lived life to the fullest.
In letters to the judge, relatives and friends of Conaway described him as “kind, loving, sincere and generous.” The victims were supported in court by a victim services specialist from Mothers Against Drunk Driving of Pennsylvania.
Relatives and friends of Lindemann described him as a “reliable, gentle man.”
“Everybody in this courtroom is hurting in one way or another for a loved one,” Demczyk-Aloy said, describing the pain and grief in the courtroom as “palpable.”
The investigation began around 11:45 p.m. Sept. 18 when Lower Providence police responded to a report of an accident involving injuries on South Park Avenue near Falcon Road. Arriving officers found a two-vehicle collision involving a BMW driven by Lindemann and a 2017 Infiniti QXSO driven by Conaway.
Conaway was taken to Einstein Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. A subsequent autopsy revealed that Conaway died from multiple injuries sustained in the crash.
Arena, a front-seat passenger and a 23-year-old female backseat passenger in Conaway’s vehicle were taken to Paoli Trauma Hospital with serious injuries. The two female passengers in Lindeman’s vehicle refused treatment at the scene, but were taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital later that evening.
Lindemann was not injured in the accident.
An investigation by city police and county detectives determined that Lindeman’s vehicle was northbound on South Park Avenue and crossed the center line of the roadway more than five feet directly into the path of Conaway’s southbound vehicle, “causing , that the driver’s side moved to the front, each vehicle had a strong impact in the southbound lane,” the criminal case says.