An unlicensed driver was slapped with multiple charges for driving under the influence and speeding in the head-on crash that killed a 35-year-old Pottstown mother, authorities announced.
Nicole Benzenhafer was driving home from work around 10:15 p.m. on Aug. 3 when her Chevrolet Equinox was struck head-on by a Chevrolet Impala driven by Symere Butler, 30, according to the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.
Butler was traveling between 71 and 73 miles per hour down Queen Street near Madison Street (a 25-mile-per-hour zone) when his car went airborne and landed on the opposite side of the intersection, now traveling westbound in the eastbound lane, authorities said.
That's when Butler's sedan hit Benzenhafer's Equinox in a violent head-on impact, forcing the SUV to fly 108 feet before coming to a rest in the westbound lane, the DA's office said.
Butler's car then struck a parked Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck before coming to a rest.
Benzenhafer had to be extracted from the Equinox since she was pinned. She was transported to Reading Hospital where she later died.
Butler crawled out of his car. He was taken to Reading Hospital, where he was treated and later released.
Toxicology tests conducted on Butler’s blood showed that his blood contained fentanyl and THC, the DA's office said.
Over $25,000 had been raised on a GoFundMe campaign for Benzhafer's loved ones, including her 11-year-old son as of Sept. 16.
Butler was arrested and charged with homicide by vehicle while under the influence, accident involving death while not licensed, DUI, and related charges.
He was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Edward Kropp Sr., who set bail at $500,000 cash.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Sept. 23 before Judge Kropp.
The case will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Bridget Gallagher, a member of the Pottstown Community Justice Unit.
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