Police: Robert Landis had blood-alcohol level more than triple the legal limit
Updated at 1 p.m. with arraignment information
Authorities said a West Chester man was driving with a blood-alcohol level of more than three times the legal limit and a suspended license when he caused a fatal crash on April 26.
On Tuesday, Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced the filing of charges against 49-year-old Robert E. Landis for homicide by vehicle while DUI in the death of Liam Crowley. “Anybody who drives drunk is in danger of killing another person,” said Hogan. “Getting behind the wheel of a pickup truck at night on the highway with this much alcohol in your system is like firing a 5,000 pound bullet into a crowd of people.”
Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department Chief Brenda Bernot stated, “Liam Crowley would be alive today if Robert Landis had not blatantly disobeyed our laws. But Robert Landis has demonstrated that he does not care about others and his incredibly selfish acts on April 26th took the life of a young man with so much potential and destroyed the lives of those who loved him.”
According to the criminal complaint, Landis was driving a 2004 Dodge Ram pickup truck southbound on Wilmington Pike in Westtown Township about 10:30 p.m. on April 26 when he started to turn left onto Stanton Avenue. In the process, Landis collided with a northbound motorcycle operated by Crowley, who later died from his injuries, the complaint said.
At the scene, the defendant said he was the driver of the truck, which contained numerous empty and full beer cans; police observed that Landis had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and a strong odor of alcohol, the complaint said. Landis told police he only had “a couple of beers,” which blood testing disproved, the complaint said.
Reconstruction of the crash showed that the victim, who was wearing a helmet, had been driving in a straight line when the defendant’s truck collided with him, Hogan said. “Another young person has been senselessly killed by a drunk driver,” he said. “We cannot bring Liam Crowley back to his family and friends, but we will pursue justice against the man who killed Liam.”
Hogan said the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department was the primary investigative agency, assisted by police departments from West Goshen, Birmingham, Uwchlan, and West Sadsbury. The Chester County Serious Crash Assistance Team responded and worked with all of the agencies. Also assisting were the West Chester Fire Department, West Chester Fire Police, Good Fellowship Ambulance, Medic 91, and the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.
“Liam Crowley would be alive today if Robert Landis had not blatantly disobeyed our laws,” said Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department Chief Brenda Bernot. “But Robert Landis has demonstrated that he does not care about others, and his incredibly selfish acts on April 26 took the life of a young man with so much potential and destroyed the lives of those who loved him.”
Landis was arraigned Tuesday morning on charges that include homicide by vehicle while DUI, aggravated assault by motor vehicle, and related offenses. Magisterial District Judge William Kraut set bail at $1 million cash, and Landis was returned to Chester County Prison after failing to post it, police said.
Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Westtown-East Goshen Detective Jon Stafford at 610-692-5100.