Berks woman charged with homicide after hitting man, 84, with her car

AMITY — A Berks County woman has been charged with vehicular homicide in connection with an Aug. 23 accident in which her car veered off the road and hit an elderly man working on his fence.

Pamela Jean Routhier, 52, of Laureldale, was also charged with aggravated assault, involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and driving under the influence after her car struck Daniel Shirey on Aug. 23 on Route 662 around 4 p.m. Shirey died on Aug. 25 at Reading Hospital as a result of his injuries.

According to witness reports to police, Routhier drove another 100 yards after she realized she hit someone, police said.

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Shirey, 84, was breathing and conscious, but in pain at the scene, police said.

When police were speaking to witnesses, Routhier allegedly identified herself as the person who struck Shirey, police said.

According to police, Routhier said she was driving home from work in the 1500 block of Route 662, also known as Old Swede Road, when she allegedly reached for her cellphone in the passenger side of the car.

“She heard a bang and realized she hit something,” police said in their report.

Police said they asked Routhier if she had been drinking and she allegedly originally told them that she had not. Routhier did tell police that she had taken a prescribed dosage of clonazepam approximately 45 minutes prior to the accident, police said. Clonazepam is a drug used to treat the symptoms of anxiety.

Police said Routhier failed the field sobriety tests she agreed to perform. It was then that Routhier told police she had a beer after work in parking lot of her office before driving home, police said.

Routhier allegedly admitted to police that she had beer in the trunk of her car, police said.

After Routhier was arrested, police searched her car and found an open beer in the backseat as well as six open cans of beer and approximately 20 unopened beers in a subsequent search, police said.

On Aug. 23, Routhier was transported to St. Joseph Medical Center and agreed to a chemical blood test, police said. The results of that test showed that Routhier’s blood alcohol content was 0.164 percent when the accident occurred. That’s twice the legal limit for DUI in Pennsylvania.

Routhier appeared in district court in Oley on Sept. 5 in front of District Judge Victor M. Frederick IV. Frederick set Routhier’s bail at $50,000, according to court documents.

Her next appearance in court is scheduled for Oct. 9 at 11 a.m.