Three plead guilty in deadly Bucks crashes

Posted: June 26, 2013

One person was drunk. Another was street racing. And yet another was speeding at nearly 100 m.p.h. All caused deadly wrecks.

Three people pleaded guilty in Bucks County Court on Monday to charges stemming from the three fatal car crashes.

Ashley Sheridan, 28, admitted driving at nearly 100 m.p.h. on River Road near Route 1 in Falls Township before rear-ending another car. Mary McGrath, 66, of Morrisville, spent eight months in the hospital before succumbing to her injuries, Deputy District Attorney Antonetta Stancu said.

Stancu said McGrath showed signs for hope when she started to speak to her family during Christmas 2011. But her condition declined and she died in June 2012.

Charges against Sheridan, of Perkiomenville, include vehicular homicide, a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. She is awaiting sentencing.

John Fitzgibbon, 38, of Bristol Township, pleaded guilty to driving drunk when he slammed his van into a car driven by Monica Lynn Presley, 45, on Route 13 in the township in 2011.

He faces a mandatory minimum of three years in prison. His record includes a DUI from 2001. Fitzgibbon also is awaiting sentencing.

A Philadelphia man admitted to street racing before causing a crash on Lincoln Highway in Bensalem. One of his passengers, Michelle Price, 19, of North Carolina, died at the scene.

Aurelio Xhepaj, 20, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and was sentenced by Judge Jeffrey Finley to eight to 23 months in jail.

Deputy District Attorney Matthew E. Hoover said Xhepaj expressed remorse. But Hoover said: "The case definitely demonstrated an absolute lack of regard [for life], not only for the people with him but the other people on the roadway."

Hoover said Xhepaj appeared to have no connection with the person with whom he was racing. Investigators never caught the other driver, he said.


Contact Ben Finley at 610-313-8118 or bfinley@phillynews.com, or on Twitter @Ben_Finley. Get more Bucks County news at Inquirer.com/bucksinq.

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