Thomas J. Gallagher Jr.
Charges against a 29-year-old New Providence man who was arrested earlier in connection with the July 8 car crash that claimed the life of a 18-year-old girl have been upgraded to homicide, the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office announced Friday.
Thomas Gallagher Jr. previously had been charged with vehicular homicide related to the death of recent high-school graduate Meredith Demko. But the charge was upgraded after investigators determined there is evidence to pursue a third-degree murder conviction, the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office said.
Gallagher was allegedly drunk and high on heroin when his vehicle crashed into Demko’s car along Lampeter Road in West Lampeter Township.
In Pennsylvania–the standard sentence for third-degree murder ranges from 20 to 40 years in prison.
Gallagher is also charged with aggravated assault, aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, aggravated assault by vehicle, two counts of DUI and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He is currently in Lancaster County Prison in lieu of $1.25 million bail.
Gallagher is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 3 for a preliminary hearing.