Man faced with felony charges of vehicular homicide
MONTGOMERY – Even though his driver’s license was suspended for a DUI conviction, that did not stop Alec Thomas Barnes from getting into his Dodge Journey station wagon last summer, allegedly intoxicated, and slamming into the back of Patricia Shultz’s vehicle in excess of 100 mph, killing the 49-year-old woman, according to state police.
Barnes, 24, of 156 S. Third St., Hughesville, was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force at his home without incident last week.
Trooper Troy Hansen, the lead investigator in the fatal crash, said Barnes was traveling “at a very high rate of speed” when he crashed into Shultz in the 7200 block of Route 405 in Clinton Township about 12:20 a.m. on June 22.
It was estimated that Barnes was traveling at 114 mph on a road that has a posted speed limit of 55 mph, Hansen said.
Following the violent collision, both vehicles went off the road and oveturned in a field, police said.
An employee at White Deer Run Treatment Center, Shultz, of Muncy, was on her way home from work when the crash occurred. The 1986 graduate of the Williamsport Area High School had been promoted to case manager at the center, a position she was to start in early July.
The mother of four children, Shultz also was a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician for the Montgomery Fire Co.
Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr. pronounced her dead at the scene of upper body injuries.
Hansen said that when he questioned Barnes at the scene, he noticed the man’s “eyes were glassy and bloodshot. I detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath. Barnes related that he had been drinking alcohol prior to the crash.”
However, Barnes, who did not appear injured, said that “someone else was driving his vehicle, but he could not recall the name of the man,” Hansen said in an affidavit.
Witnesses to the crash said Barnes was the only person seen coming from the Dodge Journey, Hansen said.
Video surveillance at an area bar “showed Barnes leaving the bar by himself just before the crash occurred,” the trooper added. A blood sample Barnes gave at Muncy Valley Hospital revealed his blood-alcohol content level at .08, Hansen said, adding that at the time of the crash, Barnes’ license was suspended for a prior drunk driving conviction.
Barnes was arraigned before District Judge Jon E. Kemp on felony charges of vehicular homicide, aggravated assault, vehicular homicide while DUI, aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, accidents involving death while not properly licensed as well as misdemeanors DUI and recklessly endangering another person and several summary offenses.
He was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $350,000 bail.
Sun-Gazette reporter Mark Maroney contributed to this report.