Drunk driver sentenced in crash death of Philadelphia police officer Brian Lorenzo

Click to watch the report from Action News
December 2, 2013 3:48:48 PM PST
The man who pleaded guilty to killing a Philadelphia police officer in a drunken, wrong-way crash on I-95 last year learned his fate on Monday.

John Leck Jr., 47, of Levittown has been sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison. The judge spared Leck the 15 to 30 years the prosecution had asked for because he had no prior run-ins with the law.

Minutes before he was sentenced, John Leck told the court he felt awful that he had taken the life of such a good man. He told Officer Brian Lorenzo's family "I am sorry I took him from you. I did not set out to hurt. I don't have a hurtful bone in my body."

He had pleaded guilty back in October on what was supposed to be the first day of his trial in the death of Officer Brian Lorenzo.

However, his plea came after the prosecutor reviewed evidence from the July 8, 2012 crash.

The wreck happened at 3:15 a.m. and Lorenzo, a 23-year veteran of the force, had just finished his shift.

Authorities said Leck, whose blood alcohol level was almost three times the legal limit, ignored "do not enter" signs and drove his Audi the wrong way on Interstate 95, traveling southbound in the northbound lanes for a half mile before slamming into Lorenzo's motorcycle near Cottman Avenue.

Police say Lorenzo was going 68 miles per hour northbound, Leck was doing 65 southbound. The state trooper investigating the case at the time said it looked like a bomb had gone off at the scene.

Lorenzo was in full uniform riding on his Highway Patrol motorcycle when the accident happened. Authorities say he was killed instantly.

Members of the Highway Patrol Unit escorted Lorenzo's family on Monday, including his widow Linda. Many of those officers were part of the standing room only crowd in court.

Linda Lorenzo testified about family events her husband, who she described as a family man, has missed. From the birth of a granddaughter to the first day of school for the couples youngest son.

The widow said she met her husband when she was 17, they married when she was 22.

"This was two people that were partners in life and very much in love and she has lost her partner, her high school sweetheart, and that's a pain that is never going to go away," Assistant District Attorney Jacqueline Coelho said.


Load Comments