Man blamed for ice death to be freed

February 28, 2008 4:35:28 AM PST
A man who dropped a chunk of ice off a Lehigh County overpass at age 15, killing a woman in a van, is nearing release from a juvenile facility.

Lehigh County Senior Judge Lawrence Brenner issued the order Wednesday. He says Dennis Gumbs will be released on May 13, his 21st birthday.

Gumbs said at his placement review hearing he hates himself when he looks back at what he thought was fun on Jan. 3, 2003. The 18-pound ice chunk smashed the windshield of a van on Route 22, killing 33-year-old Elaine Cowell. The Berks County mother of three was riding with her family, returning from a ski trip.

Gumbs was judged delinquent of third-degree murder. He told Cowell's family members in court he "didn't think of what could happen." He bowed his head and cried at the defense table.

Information from: The Morning Call,