Woman charged with homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter in death of bicyclist

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — A West Donegal Township woman was charged Wednesday in connection with the death of a bicyclist.

Phyllis Emery, 60, was behind the wheel of a 2013 Volvo S60 just before 4:30 p.m. on April 8 when she drove into the back of a bicyclist on Sheaffer Road in Mount Joy Township. The bicyclist, Douglas Sager, was seriously injured as a result of the crash and died at the hospital nine days later.

Forensic analysis of Emery’s phone revealed that she sent a text message 60 seconds prior to attempting to call “919” and also received a text 45 seconds before she attempted to make that phone call, charging documents say. Emery’s attempt to call “919” occurred 27 seconds before Lancaster County dispatch received a 911 call from a neighbor who reported the incident, charging documents add.

The neighbor told police that she went outside after hearing the crash and then went back inside to call 911 after seeing that a vehicle hit a bicyclist, according to charging documents. The neighbor estimated that she called 911 one to two minutes after the crash occurred.

Sight and distance tests were conducted at the scene, which showed that Emery would have had “approximately 784 feet of sight distance prior to reaching the location of the crash,” police wrote in the charging documents.

Emery has been charged with homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter and three summary offenses, including prohibiting text-based communications, court documents show.

She was released on $200,000 unsecured bail.

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