Man guilty of vehicular homicide in crash with train
A New Jersey man who police say was high on marijuana when he stopped on railroad tracks, causing a crash that killed his fiancee, was found guilty of homicide by vehicle while DUI on Friday.
Akim Jones-Williams, 28, formerly of Mechanicsburg and now of Laurel Springs, New Jersey, also was found guilty of aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, aggravated assault by vehicle, reckless endangerment, careless driving and DUI, according to online court records.
Newberry Township Police said Jones-Williams was high on marijuana July 5, 2014, when the crash happened about 4:45 p.m. at Cly Road in an area known as Slonneker's Landing, in York Haven, as the family was heading to the Susquehanna River.
A train crashed into the car, killing Cori E. Sisti, 23, and injuring the couple's then-2½-year-old daughter, Serena Jones.
Crash: Chief deputy prosecutor Tim Barker said Jones-Williams was high when he was on the tracks that day, and that impacted his response.
“(Evidence) showed that he absolutely did not respond in any way, shape or form to the fact that a train was coming down the tracks and was going to strike them,” Barker said.
Barker said Sisti, who had no drugs in her system, noticed that the train was coming, whereas Jones-Williams, who was found to have marijuana in his system, did not react.
He also said Jones-Williams admitted to a woman after the crash that he had driven 18 miles "high as a kite" the day of the crash.
For the guilty verdict, Barker said Jones-Williams is looking at a minimum of three to six years in prison.
Devastated: Shawn Dorward, Jones-Williams' defense attorney, said the jury deliberated on the verdict for more than three hours Friday afternoon.
Jones-Williams was "devastated" by the outcome, Dorward said. Dorward said that he did not talk with Jones-Williams about potential appeals Friday.
He said the verdict landed on Jones-Williams' daughter's fifth birthday.
“Regardless of what the result would've been today, everyone has a loss," he said.
Dorward emphasized the impact that the decision will have on Jones-Williams' daughter, who has already lost her mother.
“She could be losing her father for a period of time,” Dorward said.
He called the situation "beyond tragic."
Jones-Williams' sentencing is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.