Almost two months after a fiery collision between a car and a motorcycle killed one person, police arrested a Berks County man who allegedly caused the crash.
Dante Tadzio Rau, 27, of Mertztown, faces two felony counts of vehicular homicide for the May 3 death of 37-year-old North Coventry resident Robert Gatchel.
According to police, Rau was driving his 2000 Honda Civic north behind Gatchel on Route 100 near Rick Road around 2:45 p.m. in Douglass (Mont.) Township.
The investigation revealed that Gatchel “was struck from behind by Rau’s vehicle.” Rau then allegedly drove over Gatchel and his motorcycle before it finally came to a stop after dragging Gatchel for about 750 feet.
“The car, the motorcycle and Gatchel caught fire,” a press release from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.
Gatchel was pronounced dead at the scene and an autopsy revealed he died of multiple injuries in combination with thermal burns.
Rau was uninjured in the crash, police said. The results of a blood test revealed Rau had Fentanyl and “the metabolites of marijuana” in his system at the time of the crash.
First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele said the length of the investigation is “typical” for a crash this severe.
“We were looking for a number of things,” Steele said. “We needed to execute search warrants, make sure there wasn’t a problem with the vehicle ... and get consultation to determine all aspects of the case.”
Rau was arraigned by District Judge Maurice H. Saylor and issued $20,000 bail. He is confined to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in lieu of bail.
Rau is expected in court again on July 14 at 9:15 a.m.