An impaired driver tested positive for five illicit and prescription drugs soon after he caused a crash that claimed the lives of two other motorists on a Castor Gardens street Nov. 13, authorities claim.
Robert Brenzenger, 33, of the 3100 block of Knorr St., has been ordered to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter, homicide by vehicle while DUI and other offenses.
Assistant District Attorney John Doyle called two eyewitnesses to the stand during last Wednesday’s preliminary hearing. One man said he was walking eastbound on St. Vincent Street approaching Bustleton Avenue at about 12:20 a.m. when he heard a roaring engine and saw a sport-utility vehicle speed past him at 50 to 60 mph into the intersection.
The traffic light was red, but the SUV didn’t stop or even slow down before colliding with a sedan that was traveling southbound on Bustleton, said the witness, who identified Brenzenger as the driver of the 2001 GMC Yukon.
Two victims occupied the other vehicle, a 2009 Honda Accord. Liang Pan, 35, of the 2100 block of Unruh Ave., and Zhuoru Chin, 58, of the 6700 block of Akron St., were pronounced dead at the scene.
A second eyewitness, an off-duty paramedic, testified that he was driving his car southbound on Bustleton immediately behind the victims’ car and that the Honda had a green light for the intersection. After striking the Honda, Brenzenger’s vehicle collided with the car of an off-duty Philadelphia police lieutenant, who was hospitalized briefly for treatment of minor injuries.
Brenzenger admitted to police that he was driving the GMC, Doyle said. Two hours after the crash, he tested positive for cocaine, marijuana, and heroin or morphine, as well as the prescription anxiety drug Alprazolam and the sleeping drug Zolpidem.
Brenzenger is also charged with homicide by vehicle, driving while under the influence, simple assault and reckless endangerment.
He remains in jail in lieu of $500,000 bail and is scheduled for a Dec. 19 arraignment in Common Pleas Court. ••