Arrest in Dannehower Bridge accident

NORRISTOWN, Pa. - September 21, 2009

21-year-old Julian Tyrone Mansfield is charged with Homicide by Vehicle, Accidents Involving Death or Serious Bodily Injury, Driving Under Suspension, Receiving Stolen Property and other related charges.

The charges stem from an accident on June 23, 2009. Shortly after 9:00 p.m. West Norriton Police were dispatched to a multi-vehicle accident on the Route 202 Dannehower Bridge in Norristown.

Upon arrival officers found the wreckage of a motorcycle on the highway and the operator, Julian Mansfield, was discovered seriously injured laying in the roadway nearby.

The motorcycle's rear seat passenger, Ryan Bonita Banjoman, was ejected from the motorcycle over the sidewall of the bridge into the Schuylkill River.

A large-scale water search and rescue operation was conducted in an effort to find Banjoman. At 12:36 a.m. on June 24, 2009, the body of 19-year-old Ryan Bonita Banjoman was recovered from the river.

Investigators determined that Mansfield's motorcycle was travelling at a high rate of speed northbound on Route 202 and closing in on slower traffic on the bridge.

Mansfield's motorcycle rapidly approached the rear of a vehicle operated by Joann K. Pisch. Investigators say Mansfield only applied his rear-wheel brakes and then attempted to steer to the right in an attempt to proceed up the right side, past the vehicle operated by Pisch. However, the front of Mansfield's motorcycle struck the right rear of Pisch's vehicle causing his motorcycle to go onto the berm of the roadway and strike the concrete raised barrier, ejecting the rear seat passenger over the guardrail.

The motorcycle then hit the right side of the vehicle a second time, causing the motorcycle to lose stability. The motorcycle went onto its left side and slid across the northbound lanes - that's when Mansfield was ejected from the vehicle.

The crash investigation determined that the motorcycle was proceeding at a speed greater than 74 miles per hour at the time of the crash. The investigation also revealed that the motorcycle involved had been reported stolen in Wilmington, Delaware on May 22, 2009 and was owned by a man from Warminster, Pennsylvania.

In addition, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation records indicate that Mansfield was not issued a current valid operator license and that his operating privileges are suspended until the year 2011.

Mansfield was arraigned on $50,000 unsecured bail Monday and will have a preliminary hearing on September 30th.

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