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Dover man charged in crash that killed 18-year-old passenger

Michael Mendez II

DOVER TOWNSHIP, York County -- A Dover man has been charged in a crash that killed an 18-year-old who was in the passenger seat of his vehicle.

Michael Mendez II, 23, was charged Wednesday with accidents involving death or personal injury, homicide by vehicle, four counts of recklessly endangering another person and eight summary traffic offenses, court documents show.

The crash occurred at the intersection of Mayfield Drive and Emig Mill Road just after 11 p.m. on June 15, the criminal complaint says.

According to the criminal complaint, Mendez and Chase Hartlaub were traveling eastbound on Emig Mill Road in a white BMW after leaving Mendez's residence where reportedly a backyard party had taken place (a few blocks away from the crash site). Numerous witnesses -- as well as the driver of the vehicle that was struck by Mendez's BMW -- advised that the driver of the BMW, later identified as Mendez, passed a vehicle over the double-yellow line before it swerved back into the eastbound lane, blew through a stop sign and impacted a Ford Escape that had started to turn onto Mayfield Drive, the criminal complaint alleges.

An on-scene investigation determined that after the collision, the BMW entered a front yard of a home in the 2000 block of Emig Mill Road and impacted eight fence posts, the criminal complaint says. The vehicle also came into contact with the horizontal rails positioned between each post, which impaled the windshield and front end, the criminal complaint adds.

After the BMW struck the final post, the vehicle braked heavily, which resulted in it skidding across just under 200 feet of grass and pavement from three residential yards and driveways, according to the criminal complaint.

Hartlaub, a firefighter with the Dover Township Volunteer Fire Department, was transported to York Hospital following the crash. He was pronounced dead around 3:30 a.m. Saturday.

A speed analysis was conducted using the measurements obtained post-impact with the fence. An estimated speed range for the BMW following the collision with the final fence post was 47 mph to 57 mph, the criminal complaint alleges. Emig Mill Road, in the vicinity of the intersection of Mayfield Drive, is posted 35 mph.

Mendez reportedly fled the scene of the crash initially but twenty-four minutes after authorities responded to the crash, he met with police at a Turkey Hill, after his father, also named Michael Mendez, called 911 to advise he had the "driver that fled," according to the criminal complaint.

The description witnesses gave to police on what Mendez was wearing prior to him fleeing the scene of the crash was a match to what authorities saw him in while at Turkey Hill, the criminal complaint adds.

The criminal complaint also alleges that during the meeting, Mendez admitted to operating the BMW with Hartlaub as a passenger.