Havertown driver charged in death of bicyclist in Philadelphia

A Havertown man was charged with vehicular manslaughter Thursday night after he struck and killed a Lansdowne bicyclist while driving drunk in Philadelphia, police said.

Paul Jones, 53, of Wales Road, was arrested shortly after 10:30 p.m. Thursday. Moments after he hit the cyclist, he crashed his black Ford pickup into a minivan with two women and a child inside, Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael J. Chitwood said. The minivan occupants were not hurt, he said.

Police said Randall Bratu, 62, of Lacrosse Street, Lansdowne, was bicycling home in the 6400 block of Baltimore Avenue when Jones struck him from behind shortly before 10:30 p.m. Bratu was thrown at least 30 yards into the air, Chitwood said, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

A few minutes later, police said, Jones' pickup collided head-on with the minivan on Marshall Road in Lansdowne.

Jones did not stop then either, but the women in the minivan gave police a description of him and his truck.

Moments later, police in Havertown pulled over a truck matching the description. It had heavy front-end damage.

Chitwood said police found a bottle of Oxycodone pills in the truck.

The prescription was made out to Jones' daughter, he said.

Jones was charged with vehicular homicide, aggravated assault, driving under the influence, and related offenses. Bail was set at $500,000.

 


Contact staff writer Allison Steele at 215-854-2641 or asteele@phillynews.com.