New charges of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence were filed Tuesday against an East Rockhill Township man in a May 16 crash that killed an off-duty Bucks County deputy sheriff.
Harry J. Burak, 27, had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.18 percent -- more than double the legal limit — and had consumed several beers in a short period before he collided with Deputy Keith W. Clymer’s motorcycle, prosecutors said Tuesday. According to authorities, Burak had turned left while traveling on Dublin Pike in his Dodge Ram truck, heading for his own driveway when he collided with the motorcycle.
Burak had four previous DUI convictions, and his driver’s license had been suspended until at least 2023, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday. Surveillance footage from the nearby Wagon Wheel Tavern down the road showed Burak drinking five beers in 1 hour and 29 minutes, then buying a six-pack to go, police said.
Clymer, 48, of Kintnersville, was pronounced dead at the scene. He had worked as a deputy sheriff since December 2013. Officials said he was part of the domestic-relations warrant team and was a self-defense and defensive tactics instructor.
In a recorded phone call made from county prison after his initial arrest, Burak told his girlfriend he saw the motorcycle approaching, but thought he could make the turn and alleged that the motorcycle was speeding, prosecutors said.
Burak also was charged Tuesday with driving under the influence, resisting arrest, and related offenses. Authorities said he struggled with police after the crash. He had been charged two weeks ago with accidents involving death or bodily injury while not properly licensed and driving while his license was suspended or revoked.
Court filings did not list an attorney for Burak.
He was arraigned Tuesday and was unable to post bail, set at $500,000. A preliminary hearing is set for June 19.