NoLibs man to stand trial in fatal May DUI crash

Posted: July 31, 2014

IF RONALD MANSON had not been drunk on May 19, he might not have been charged with killing the beer-distributor employee whom he struck with his van in front of the North Philly business.

But prosecutors say Manson, 64, who pulled over and voluntarily gave police a full statement after the 1:30 p.m. accident, was very drunk that afternoon, when his van allegedly struck Stuart Moore, 54.

His blood-alcohol level was .245, about three times the legal level to drive, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Lipscomb said at Manson's preliminary hearing yesterday.

After hearing testimony from police officers and a co-worker of Moore's from Girard Beer Distributor, Municipal Judge Patrick Dugan ordered Manson to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence and related counts.

Manson, of New Market Street in Northern Liberties, was arrested the day of the crash and remains jailed on $350,000 bail.

Moore was struck and killed while standing near the parking lane on Girard Avenue near 9th Street behind a company box truck that co-worker Elliott Sanchez was backing up.

One moment Moore was waving his hands helping to guide him backward, Sanchez said, the next he heard a loud "smack" and saw Moore rolling in the street.

Moore, of 10th Street near Thompson, died at the scene from multiple blunt-force injuries, the city Medical Examiner's Office ruled.

Police Officer Keanon Gilliam said that when he arrived on the scene, he saw the victim facedown in a pool of blood in the street and heavy windshield and right-side damage to Manson's 1997 Chevy Discovery van.

Manson, who he said smelled of alcohol, kept repeating that the victim had walked in front of his van and that he did not see him, Gilliam said.

Public defender Susan Ricci argued that the homicide charge should be dropped because although Manson was drunk, the accident was caused by Moore when he stepped into traffic and because he had cocaine in his system.

Lipscomb argued that Manson never applied his brakes before striking Moore, and did not see him, because he was so intoxicated.

"He's drunk, causation is established," Lipscomb said.

On Twitter: @MensahDean

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