Police: Driver drunk in crash that killed baby

Katrina Gunkel

August 23, 2011 8:34:35 AM PDT
The driver who police accused of killing an infant girl is now facing homicide charges, but the baby's parents -- who did not have her in a child safety seat -- will not.

On Monday, Lehigh County prosecutors charged Randy Teets, 56, of Whitehall Township with vehicular homicide, involuntary manslaughter, and driving under the influence.

One year-old Katrina Gunkel died in the July 18th accident in North Whitehall Township. Both of her parents suffered severe injuries.

State Police say Randy Teets' blood alcohol level was .21 when he crashed head-on into the family's minivan on Old Post Road.

"This man was two and a half times the legal limit, so he was certainly under the influence of alcohol," Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin told WFMZ-TV.

Teets owns T-Square Construction in Whitehall Township. He was not there, or at his home, Monday afternoon, WFMZ reported.

Katrina Gunkel's parents declined to comment on the charges.

Frisk suffered two broken legs and a bruised heart. Her spleen was also removed. The baby's father, Mark Gunkel, also suffered serious injuries. Police say the couple did not have Katrina in a child safety seat, something that led some to believe the parents should also face charges.

"No, I do not intend to charge the parents," said Martin.

Martin said, under Pennsylvania law, he could likely only charge Frisk with a seat belt violation.

"If I were to charge the mother, it's a summary offense with a maximum fine of $100," he said.

Martin said he opted not to prosecute because he believed Gunkel's parents had suffered enough.


Information from WFMZ-TV

Load Comments