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Mustang Driver Faces Murder Charge

Bucks County prosecutors say a 37-year-old Plumstead man acted with malice when he caused a high-speed car crash on the Rt. 611 Bypass in Doylestown.

A man who loved speed was rocketing up the Rt. 611 Bypass in Doylestown at at least 142 miles an hour when he slammed his souped-up Mustang Cobra into another car on the night before Thanksgiving, the busiest travel day of the year.

That's what Bucks County prosecutors will try to prove when they prosecute that driver, Drew Bodden, 37, for third-degree murder for causing the death of 9-year-old Holly Huynh.

"A charge of murder in an auto crash is not particularly common. But then neither are the facts which our investigation have revealed about this horrific act," Bucks County District Attorney Dave Heckler said Thursday during a press conference to announce the charges.

"That is the point of this case," Heckler said. "This was a volitional act, a choice by Mr. Bodden to drive at a speed that was beyond reckless."

Malice is the defining point that sets murder apart from manslaughter, Heckler said, contending that Bodden's actions showed "a complete indifference to human life."

The Crash

Bodden, of Plumstead, was driving his Ford Mustang Cobra that night north up the Rt. 611 Bypass around Doylestown. He was in the left lane, speeding at 142 to 154 miles an hour, said Bob James, assistant district attorney in charge of the case.

Two other drivers on the road that night told police they saw Bodden driving fast and thought he might have been racing a black Cadillac, James said. The driver of that Cadillac told investigators he sped up to about 70 miles per hour to pass a car before moving into the right lane to get out of the way when he saw the Mustang bearing down on him, according to court papers filed Thursday.

Suzanne Berry was driving her granddaughter Holly from a gymnastics class in Warrington to their home in Plumstead, James said. She was in the left lane traveling 60 to 70 miles an hour when Bodden slammed into her Honda CRV, James said. A reconstruction of the crash scene estimated her speed to have ranged from 61 to 75 miles an hour, according to court papers.

"They were not stopped in the roadway," as some have speculated, James said.

The impact forced the Honda across the right lane, off the road and into the grassy area next to the Broad Street exit ramp. The Honda went airborne and rolled over before coming to rest on its wheels, facing east, according to court papers.

The Honda was so damaged that rescuers had to cut both Holly and her grandmother from the wreckage, James said. The vehicle is barely recognizable in photos of the crash scene displayed at the press conference.

The Mustang traveled another 900 feet up Rt. 611 before hitting a guardrail and coming to a halt in the grassy median.

Rescuers who raced to the scene found Holly unconscious and unresponsive in the back seat of the crushed Honda. A Bucks County Coroner's deputy pronounced her dead at the scene. She had been wearing her seatbelt.

Berry, who also had been wearing her seatbelt, was unconscious and barely breathing, trapped inside the driver's compartment of the Honda. Rescuers were able to resuscitate her and airlifted her to Temple University Hospital in "extremely critical" condition.

Rescuers also had to cut Bodden and his girlfriend, Christine Mokrynchuk, 43, out of the wreckage of their car, Heckler said. They were taken to Abington Memorial Hospital for treatment.

The Aftermath

In addition to the murder charge in connection with Holly’s death, Bodden faces other charges, including two counts of aggravated assault by vehicle, James said.

One charge is for causing the injuries to Berry. The 55-year-old Plumstead woman remains hospitalized at Temple, where a hospital spokesman on Wednesday said she was in fair condition. Berry sustained a traumatic brain injury in the crash, James said, and is breathing with the help of a ventilator in the hospital's intensive care unit.

The second charge is for causing the injuries to Mokrynchuk, who sustained a broken ankle, wrist, sternum, ribs and a head injury. She had remained hospitalized until early this week, James said.

Toxicology tests showed that Bodden, who also was in the hospital until earlier this week, had no alcohol or drugs in his system that night, the prosecutor said.

"His judgement was not impaired one bit when he decided to drive his vehicle more than twice the speed limit on a very crowded highway," James said.

In an interview from his hospital bed, Bodden told investigators he "accelerated to at least 75 mph" and that the car in front of him "looked like it had stopped in the road without its lights on."

Investigators also interviewed Mokrynchuk in the hospital. She told them she and Bodden had left Outback Steakhouse, in Montgomeryville, and were on their way home that night.

Once they reached the 611 Bypass, she said Bodden started driving fast. She remembered passing the black Cadillac, she said, adding that Bodden "may have been traveling in excess of 100 mph prior to the crash," according to court papers.

The Charges

Bodden turned himself in to police on Thursday morning, hobbling out of the Doylestown Township Police Department on a walker, bandages still evident from the broken wrist and broken leg he sustained in the crash.

He was arraigned in district court on Almshouse Road Thursday afternoon. District Justice Mark Douple set bail at $500,000 but released Bodden on his own recognizance after his attorney argued successfully that his client needs physical therapy and powerful painkillers.

Moving carefully down the sidewalk, Bodden and his attorney, Gavin Laboski, declined to comment further. A former Bucks County prosecutor, Laboski now practices law with the Doylestown firm of Benner and Wild.

The murder charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, and the two counts of aggravated assault by vehicle together carry 14 years, prosecutors said, meaning Bodden could face 54 years in prison if convicted of all three counts.

He also has been charged with homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, reckless driving, speeding, and three counts of recklessly endangering another person.

Investigators already have begun painting a portrait of Bodden as a man obsessed with fast cars.

Before it was disabled, Bodden's Facebook page included photos of himself behind the wheel, smoke emanating from spinning tires. Investigators say he has been a member of online forums dedicated to high-performance Ford vehicles, where he has posted about driving fast.

In real life, he has a string of traffic violations. In 2007, he pleaded guilty to driving without a licence and exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 miles an hour, according to court records.

James said Bodden had added thousands of dollars worth of aftermarket parts designed to enhance the engine's horsepower and make his car go faster.

According to court papers, crash scene investigators found the crumpled Mustang's speedometer "resting at just under 160 mph."

Related Stories:

  • Services Set for Holly Berry Huynh
  • Groveland Student Identified as Crash Victim
  • UPDATE: Crash now Criminal Investigation
  • Girl Killed in Thanksgiving Eve Crash in Doylestown

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Caroline Dwulet December 14, 2012 at 02:24 AM
@Justin ... At the bottom part of the article.... http://m.phillyburbs.com/news/local/courier_times_news/man-arrested-in-fatal-accident/article_9b07be15-e66a-5c7c-8798-1d31695af96a.html
Justin Baptiste December 14, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Thanks, Caroline.......that is an astonishing ruling. WTF is right!
FJT December 14, 2012 at 02:49 AM
Agree with Rigs, I've lived here 16 years and travel the bypass everyday and have never seen, not once, a speeder pulled over getting a ticket. In the past 3 weeks since the accident, I've had several cars come flying up behind me in the left lane at crazy rates of speed. The D Town police need to patrol the bypass because clearly it has become known by the "fast" crowd, that you can go wide open on that stretch of road.
Caroline Dwulet December 14, 2012 at 12:10 PM
The more I read about this bottom feeder Drew, the more disgusted I am with him and those who support him. I hope he reads some of these comments. What POS this guy is and shame on those who enable him and make excuses for his behavior. Karma could never unleash an appropriate amount of fury on you.
rac78 December 14, 2012 at 12:43 PM
I don't see a jury letting him off easy at all. I also really hope the ADA doesn't plea this out. They need to make a stand on all the speeding and reckless driving that goes on in this area. Especiallly with the volume of it all.
AB December 14, 2012 at 01:48 PM
And the facts are out! A young girl is dead because this jerk couldn't grow up and be a responsible adult! I don't care how nice he is, he had MULTIPLE chances to learn from his mistakes before they became serious and this time it's too late! There is ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE for ANY human being to be doing 140+ mph, that's just pure insanity! Do you still want to try to defend this guy???? He KILLED an innocent child! There is no way his actions are excusable on any level, and anyone who tries to defend him is just as guilty! His family and friends should be ashamed of him. He doesn't even deserve the leniency of the court to be out on bail for treatment and pain meds- he should suffer the consequences of his actions to the FULLEST extent!!!!
jgarch December 14, 2012 at 02:11 PM
its also illegal to drive without a license. That never seemed to bother this killer!
Kevin Quinn December 14, 2012 at 02:14 PM
I'm shocked that this guy is allowed to operate a vehicle. I hope the courts get this one right and put him in prison.
marie jensen December 14, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Hi girlfriend is as big of a scumbag is he is. He killed a little girl and has left another person possibly impaired for life (if she lives). How could anyone in their right mind defend him? My condolences to the family of that precious little girl. The whole thing is sad and infuriating.
Jane December 14, 2012 at 04:46 PM
It's also illegal to go 147 miles per hour. Didn't stop him the first time. Hopefully while facing murder charges, he takes the law and other people's safety quite a bit more seriously.
Brutis December 14, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I wonder how his Daddy is going to get him out of this mess!! I hope very unsuccessfully. And Caroline is right, the people that support him in the face of this overwhelming evidence...you are disgusting...and what if this was your daughter, I bet you would not be talking about the nice guy aspects of this criminal. NEWS FLASH: Drew Bodden supporters can call 1-800 GET-LOST!!!
john fitzgerald December 14, 2012 at 06:23 PM
If you want to drive at speeds exceeding 100 mph you can - at the track. There are places where you can do this legally and only endanger yourself!
Lynne Hackett December 14, 2012 at 06:26 PM
This is true. I also live nearby. Just because people speed does not excuse what Bodden did. He was going, as his speedometer stopped at just under 160 mph. That is MORE than speeding. And just because everyone else speeds doesn't mean you should follow. It is marked at 55 mph. I go that speed on the section. I get passed as if I'm standing still. All the time. Yes, the police need to patrol that section from Edison-Furlong to the end of the by-pass. They should also patrol Shady Retreat Road. I hear the cars and motorcycles all the time.
Lynne Hackett December 14, 2012 at 06:27 PM
I have seen lots of people ticketed on this stretch. It is marked 55 mph. That IS the speed limit. Limit being the operative word here.
Lynne Hackett December 14, 2012 at 06:30 PM
He works for his Daddy. He gets paid a lot and does very little leaving it up to his co-workers. BUT, his Daddy didn't go to court with him. Has not even been mentioned. Drew works on his cars in the garage of Daddy's business. Daddy handed him EVERYthing. Though, I have not heard he is driving. The poor girlfriend has been dragged around for years.
Lynne Hackett December 14, 2012 at 06:35 PM
You know what???? This judge is an idiot. He's telling him it's ok to drive to work and therapy.....Seriously???? What is wrong with this judge? I wouldn't think Bodden could drive, but to say he can is totally out of the norm. Here, have a car, drive it, kill someone else.....Really?
Lynne Hackett December 14, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Revoke his license now. He can't work. It's his dad's company. Let Dad hand over money like he always does. Keep Bodden off the road.
Lynne Hackett December 14, 2012 at 06:37 PM
I haven't heard a word from Christine regarding this accident. She is still in the hospital as far as I know.
KathyCl December 14, 2012 at 07:19 PM
What is the father's business. I'd like to boycott them and spend my money elsewhere.
iriscat68 December 14, 2012 at 07:59 PM
I too would like to boycott his father's business. Does anyone know the name?
D December 14, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Yes, name of his father's business please, my whole extended family wants to boycott his business. . . we don't support child killers in our community!
Veronica Millar December 14, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Justin, driving 142 mph didn't stop him do you really think an orthopedic boot will??? He should not have been granted any driving privileges nor she had been released.
Darrion December 15, 2012 at 12:59 AM
150 mph with other cars on the road, what an idiot. I'm sure it haunts him what he has done. He will have plenty of time to think about his actions while sitting in prison (hopefully getting anal raped every day). While being guilty of hitting over 100 on that same dark stretch of road as a youth, NEVER was there another car in sight!!
Mary191 December 15, 2012 at 01:50 AM
signs are posted.... so the police need to patrol more????? seems to me.... most people can read.... certainly they can read numbers..... if they break the law they need to pay.... police can't hold every one's hand.
Bobz December 15, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Bodden lied to police about his speed, claiming 75 mph (at least his girlfriend admitted he was probably exceeding 100 mph), and claimed Berry's Honda CRV looked stopped on the 611 Bypass in the left lane with no lights on. Let's think about this for a moment. At 150 mph, a car is traveling 220 feet per second (do the math: 150 miles divided by 60 minutes = 2.5 miles per minute; 5,280 feet = 1 mile so 2.5 miles = 13,200 feet; 2.5 miles or 13,200 feet divided by 60 seconds = 220 feet per second). An eighth of a mile is 660 feet, so theoretically, Bodden had about 3 seconds to react and try to stop a 3,666 pound (or approx.1.8 ton) vehicle at 150 mph before colliding with Berry's Honda CRV (based on what the driver of the Cadillac told police about the distance between Berry's vehicle and Bodden's 2003 Ford Cobra Mustang). So yeah Bodden, 55-60 mph looks like a stopped vehicle when you're approaching it at 150 mph/220 feet per second. Driving at approximately 150 mph in holiday/rush-hour traffic on a dimly lit highway with a posted speed limit of 55 mph, qualifies as depraved indifference for human life in my book. Want to slow speeding drivers down around here? Send a loud message by locking Bodden up in state prison for several decades for his actions.
Mary191 December 15, 2012 at 02:45 AM
amen
Pete December 16, 2012 at 07:41 PM
40 years for murder!? Money talks poor guys would serve life!!
kevin December 19, 2012 at 02:00 PM
you folks do realize that Drew's father didn't kill anyone right? and that your acting like the scumbags you say this guys is by trying to boycott his fathers, what i would assume is, local business? Let's try to be classy about things. And if you want to boycott any business trying checking into the pasts of the companies you shop at everyday.
Rob Castro December 19, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Kevin....real classy to call people scumbags.
James December 22, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Charlie it is not a racing website it is an svt enthusiast website most of us do not condone or participate in illegal racing. I'm sure you have never gotten a ticket or done anything illegal.

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