Yesterday in North Cornwall Township, a Hummelstown man, Tyler Brandt Dormer, was charged with ‘homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence’ as a result of the March death of Karen Elizabeth Graham of Lebanon.
We obtained a copy of the criminal complaint, which sheds additional light on the events that transpired the evening of Friday, March 30.
According to the affidavit, Patrolman Daniel Erdman was first on the scene at approximately 11:30pm that night, responding to radio calls of a serious accident at Quentin Road and Spring Hill Lane.
PSA: DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE, SAVE A LIFE
Patrolman Erdman stated that upon arriving to the scene he witnessed a silver BMW facing northwest in the middle of the road just south of Spring Hill lane, and a maroon Ford Escort with major front end damage facing northeast. Patrolman Erdman found Karen Elizabeth Graham of Lebanon entrapped within her vehicle, but already deceased.
Dormer had been removed from the BMW by Liquor Control Enforcement Officer Joshua Kepier, who placed the 21-year-old on the grass aside the southbound lane. Patrolman Erdman states that Dormer was observed vomiting and semiconscious, as well as allegedly emitting a “strong odor of an alcoholic beverage.”
At the scene, Patrolman Erdman was approached by a James Groy, who said that he had seen a vehicle traveling southbound at a high rate of speed and had to swerve into the shoulder to avoid a head on collision. Groy told Erdman that the car went on to strike another vehicle head on. (One of the charges, reckless endangerment, reflects Groy’s alleged near-death experience.)
Erdman was joined at the scene by Liquor Control Enforcement Officers Zachary Ware and Joshua Keiper who had removed Dormer from the vehicle which had caught fire. Again, according to the affidavit, Keiper first observed a can of Four Loko sticking out of his jacket pocket, and then found a marijuana grinder, an empty pill bottle, and an empty one hitter/”vapor tube” while searching his jacket for identification. Later, after a search warrant had been granted, a plastic bag containing marijuana was found in the center console. Dormer’s BAC was 0.22% according to a blood alcohol test. According to the affidavit, the Four Loko container was found open.
The Lebanon County Serious Accident Reconstruction Team looked into the incident and Sergeant Andrew Herberg’s conclusion was that Dormer had been traveling at least 73 MPH in a 50 MPH zone before he crossed into the oncoming north bound lane, causing the accident.
According to a review of his Facebook page, Dormer had been seeking help for drug and alcohol abuse. A public Facebook post dated February 27, a month before the crash, shows a four-page letter written by Dormer to Governor Tom Wolf about his road towards recovery.
Dormer’s Facebook profile picture shows him holding the letter outside the Governor’s office. In the letter, Dormer exclaims the redemptive power of love.
“Coming to LivingWell changed my life. In fact, it saved my life. I have little doubt that I’d be here writing this today if it weren’t for the courage inside of me to pick up the phone that day. I am forever grateful that God led me to such a loving community with a mission to change lives.”
LivingWell is a nonprofit wellness center in Hershey that offers alternative and holistic approaches to addiction, anxiety, and other conditions. Dormer is featured in a February 23 Facebook post by the organization.
Released on $100,000 unsecured bail, Dormer currently awaits an October 25 preliminary hearing, scheduled for 8:30am with District Justice Anthony J. Verna. Dormer is represented by Brian W. Perry of Perry Shore Weisenberger & Zemloc in Harrisburg.