Man charged in death of Ofc. Jones

April 22, 2009 4:55:00 PM PDT
A man has been arrested, and charged, for a crash that killed a police officer back in January.45-year-old Frank Budka Jr. of Levittown appeared before a district justice in Levittown this afternoon charged with homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and drug offenses, among other charges, in the death of 37-year-old Middletown Township police officer Chris Jones.

The married father of three, a 10-year veteran of the force, was mowed down by his own cruiser during a traffic detail January 29 after the DA says Budka's car slammed into Jones' patrol car.

"At the time that this crash happened, in the defendant's system was marijuana, cocaine, metabolites, and methadone. He was impaired on this particular morning," Bucks County D.A. Michelle Henry said.

The DA says Budka was taking methadone for pain from a knee injury, but had been warned by a doctor not to mix it with other drugs because it would impair him.

"He chose to ignore those warnings. He got behind the wheel of a car and as a result of that Officer Chris Jones is dead," Henry said.

Authorities say Budka ingested marijuana within hours of the crash.

A search of Budka's car and home turned up other drug paraphernalia including a coke pipe hidden in his vehicle.

Police also say an accident reconstruction estimates Budka was driving at 63 mph when he slammed into the officer's patrol car.

Jones family released statement saying in part: "We are pleased with the arrest of the person responsible for causing the accident."

Frank Budka is in jail tonight, unable to post bond of $1-million dollars cash.

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