Sprint car driver appealing conviction for DUI crash that killed girlfriend

Brandon Addeo
York Dispatch
A York County jury on April 30, 2021, found Todd Gracey guilty of homicide by vehicle while DUI and lesser charges for causing an alcohol-fueled crash that killed girlfriend Ambre Rheinhardt on Oct. 1, 2017.

A well-known local sprint car driver is appealing his conviction and multi-year prison sentence for a fatal DUI crash. 

In April, a York County jury found Todd Anthony Gracey, 53, of St. Johns Road in Manheim Township, guilty on charges relating to a 2017 crash in Codorus Township that killed his girlfriend, 40-year-old Ambre Rheinhardt, of Glenville.

The jury convicted him on felony homicide by vehicle and other misdemeanors, including reckless endangerment, careless driving and failing to wear a seat belt. On June 16, Judge Amber A. Kraft sentenced him to three to six years in state prison

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Gracey, through his attorney Chris Ferro, filed an appeal notice in state superior court on Thursday. Ferro did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the appeal. 

Fatal crash: In the evening hours of Oct. 1, 2017, Gracey drove his Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck on Blooming Grove Road just east of Glenville Road. Rheinhardt rode in a passenger seat. 

Gracey’s truck went off the right side of the road; he then lost control of the vehicle, overcorrected, crossed over the eastbound lanes of the road and struck a tree head-on. The vehicle rolled over and ended up on its roof. 

Gracey was flown from the crash scene to York Hospital by medical helicopter with life-threatening injuries. Rheinhardt, formerly of West Virginia, was pronounced dead at the scene, officials previously told The York Dispatch. 

Gracey's blood-alcohol level after the crash was 0.243%, which is three times higher than Pennsylvania's legal limit of 0.08%.

A police crash reconstruction determined the vehicle was traveling close to 76 miles per hour before the crash. Neither Gracey nor Rheinhardt wore seatbelts.  

It does not appear that Gracey’s appeal has been filed yet. No hearings are scheduled.