Virginia man will serve up to 12 years for killing two people in 2017 DUI crash on Route 222 in Lancaster County

WEST EARL TOWNSHIP, Lancaster County — A 46-year-old Virginia man will serve 6-12 years in prison for killing two people in a 2017 crash in a two-emergency zone on Route 222 in West Earl Township.

Anthony W. Caldwell was intoxicated when he veered across a fog line and slammed into a tow truck, killing the operator, Ralphi Watrous, 44, and the driver receiving the tow, Robert Buckwalter, 46.

Police found Caldwell had a blood-alcohol content of .088 percent shortly after the Sept. 10, 2017 crash. He had been drinking at a friend’s house prior to driving, police say.

Caldwell, 31, pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide while DUI and related charges.

Buckwalter’s wife and daughter both read from a victim-impact statement, expressing hope that Caldwell would use the tragedy to educate others on the danger of intoxicated driving, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.

“Mr. Caldwell took two lives that fateful night, but with his hopeful sobriety in telling his story, he may save more than that,” they read from the statement.

Buckwalter’s wife ended her statement by saying she will never forget what happened, but she is choosing to forgive.

Watrous’ brother and son expressed hope that the tragic crash would result in lives being spared in the future by those who, after hearing Mr. Caldwell’s case, would think twice about drinking and driving.

Caldwell apologized to the families.

In all, Caldwell pleaded guilty to:

  • Vehicular homicide while DUI (two counts)
  • Vehicular homicide (two counts)
  • DUI (two counts)
  • Accident involving death while not properly licensed (two counts)
  • Five summary traffic violations, for passing the tow truck in an immediately adjacent lane (two counts), driving while not properly licensed, reckless driving, and a lane violation.
Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.