East Penn Press

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Allentown man charged in crash that killed ACCHS student

Thursday, December 10, 2015 by CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE in Police Log

An Allentown man was charged Dec. 1 with causing an August crash in Allentown that killed a 16-year-old girl and seriously injured her mother.

According to a press release from the Office of the District Attorney, Charlie Mack, 59, of the 500 block of Mohawk Street, Allentown, is charged with homicide by vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and aggravated assault by vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, both second-degree felonies; homicide by vehicle and aggravated assault, both third-degree felonies; two counts of recklessly endangering another person, second-degree misdemeanors; two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance; exceeding the speed limit in an urban area and summary offenses of reckless driving, careless driving, having a suspended registration and driving a vehicle at an unsafe speed.

Mack was arraigned in the Lehigh County Central Booking Center. Bail was set at $100,000.

An affidavit of probable cause alleges Mack was driving 61 miles per hour when he struck a vehicle being driven by Ruth Ann Velez. Her daughter, Alayna Velez, was a passenger in the vehicle. The crash occurred Aug. 16.

According to authorities, Mack was driving 26 mph above the 35 mph limit.

The affidavit alleges:

Mack was driving north on Basin Street in an area that was dark with minimal street lighting.

His vehicle crested a hill and continued down the hill toward the intersection with Auburn Street. Mack swerved around a stopped vehicle and struck Velez’s vehicle, which was turning left.

Mack allegedly did not apply his brakes to slow down before striking the vehicle driven by Velez.

Velez was hospitalized with a brain injury, a broken pelvis, ribs, neck and right arm, a lacerated liver and a torn aorta. Her daughter, Alayna, died of injuries sustained in the crash.

Alayna Velez was a junior and a cheerleader at Allentown Central Catholic High School, according to reports in The Press.

Tests showed Mack’s blood-alcohol level was 0.13 percent at the time of the crash.

As in every criminal case, the fact an arrest has occurred or a complaint has been filed is merely an accusation; and the defendant, Charlie Mack, is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.