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Driver in fatal hit and run allegedly admitted being 'wasted'

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Police say that Charles Horrocks was “wasted” when he allegedly struck and killed a Falls man early Sunday, while driving to meet friends at a nearby bar after drinking at another one.

But it remains unclear if the 23-year-old Bristol Township man will face charges of leaving the scene of an accident while intoxicated, a felony that carries a mandatory minimum of three years in prison.

Horrocks, of Hatfield Street, already faces a slew of criminal charges in the hit-and-run death of Eric Beck, 36, of Falls. The most serious charges are homicide by vehicle and leaving the scene of a fatal accident, both third-degree felonies.

Both charges carry a maximum of seven years in jail, and accidents involving death carry a one-year mandatory prison sentence. He is being held in Bucks County prison on $1 million bail.

A break in the case came Sunday afternoon after two of Horrocks’ friends contacted Bristol Township police. They said that Horrocks admitted to them that he struck Beck while driving east on New Falls Road, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case. The friends reportedly told police that they and Horrocks were drinking alcohol the night of the accident.

Horrocks should not have been driving at all. His license has been suspended since at least May, when he was charged with driving with a suspended license as well as driving without insurance, both summary offenses, court records show.

Last month, Horrocks was again charged with driving with a suspended license and driving an unregistered vehicle. Both cases are pending in district court, according to court records.

Bucks County Deputy District Attorney Bob James said his office might have probable cause to add a driving under the influence charge in the fatal accident, but would add it only if it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

“It’s not unheard of to prosecute someone based on testimony alone, but we generally need a blood or urine test to prove that in court,” James said.

Generally speaking, a nonexpert can testify to a level of intoxication, but they don’t have the training and experience of a law enforcement officer.

“It would be a difficult case for the commonwealth,” said defense attorney Lou Busico. “Whether it holds up is for the ultimate finder of fact, a judge or jury.”

Horrocks’ friends, Sean Carey and Brian Doto, who provided police detailed statements, said they were with Horrocks and other friends at a bar west of the crash scene Saturday night. They told police the group then decided to go to another bar on New Falls Road in Falls.

The men told police “all were drinking alcohol and all were intoxicated,” according to the affidavit.

The second bar was a “five- or 10-minute” drive away, but Carey and Doto told police Horrocks didn’t arrive until more than 45 minutes later. When Carey asked Horrocks what took him so long, he replied that he “hit someone” and that his car — a 1999 black Audi A4 — was “pretty messed up,” according to the affidavit.

The men slept at Carey’s Morrisville home and, about 7 a.m. Sunday, Horrocks asked Carey to help him move his Audi to a nearby storage unit. Police recovered the damaged Audi from the storage unit Monday morning.

When Carey saw Horrocks’ car, he told police, he realized the damage was far more serious than he expected. The headlights were severely damaged, as was the hood area, and the car was missing the driver’s side view mirror. The windshield also had major damage that “appeared it had hit a person,” according to the affidavit.

Around the same time, another friend mentioned to Carey that police were looking for a black Audi that might have been involved in a fatal hit-and-run the night before. At that point, Carey asked Horrocks what he hit.

“A person,” Horrocks replied.

Carey reportedly told police that Horrocks admitted he was “wasted” after leaving the first bar and driving at 60 mph on New Falls Road, nearly twice the posted speed limit, when the car in front of him slowed down.

Horrocks didn’t have enough room to stop, so he swerved out of the way and hit Beck, according to court documents. Horrocks said the force slammed Beck’s body into the windshield and over the car, according to the affidavit.

Beck had been out with his brother and high school friends at a Bristol Township bar less than two miles from his house. Shortly after midnight he called home to see if someone could pick him up.

His mom, Michelle, was en route to get him, but Beck started walking home east on New Falls Road toward Levittown Parkway, when he was struck from behind about 12:30 a.m. An autopsy showed that Beck died moments after impact, according Bucks County Coroner Dr. Joseph Campbell.

At the crash scene Sunday morning, police said, a woman told them she was driving eastbound on New Falls Road when a car came up behind her “very close.” The car was so close she could tell it had blue-tinted headlights, according to the affidavit.

As she was driving, the woman noticed a pedestrian crossing the road in front of her. The vehicle behind her then swerved around her, passing her on the right side. As the car passed her, the woman saw it hit Beck and continue traveling east on New Falls Road, according to the affidavit.

Later, Carey asked Horrocks if he stopped after striking the person. No, Horrocks answered, according to court records.

“I just kept on going,” he replied, according to the records.

When his friend told him he killed the person he hit, Horrocks’ response was nonchalant, he said.

“’Oh, did I really?’” he asked Carey, showing “no remorse,” according to the affidavit.

Horrocks added that he bought the car on Craigslist and it wasn’t registered to him, so he planned to get rid of it the next day, according to the probable cause affidavit.

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Glad to see this guys friends turned him in before he could get rid of the car. 


Whenever I drive by this intersection I always slow down if the light is green and look both ways for speeding cars running the light, sometimes with their headlights off, before driving through. Seems to be a corridor for idiot drivers. 

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Glad to see this guys friends turned him in before he could get rid of the car. 


Whenever I drive by this intersection I always slow down if the light is green and look both ways for speeding cars running the light, sometimes with their headlights off, before driving through. Seems to be a corridor for idiot drivers. 

I'd like to add my .02's worth here. In another thread I and another SOL'er had some serious disagreement in what it takes to be a personal belief is you stand by a friend no matter what, without calling the cops over the issue I presented in that thread. I still stand firmly on THAT particular issue. But there ARE exceptions. This is one. This POS's friends realized the fact that their friend had in fact killed somebody, then had the gall to try and get them to help cover it up. With NO remorse. That's the point for me that any friendship would have gone out the window. If he had expressed remorse, and was scared and needed my help to turn himself in, I would have stuck by him like glue, and help in any way possible. We all make mistakes. But that wasn't what this POS did. The only thing I would have done different for this "friend" is instead of waiting for the police to come get him after reporting him would have been to drag his sorry ass to the police station and dump his ass at the front door. Then walk away.:mad:

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