Local/State

Philadelphia police officer charged in fatal crash surrenders

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

A well-regarded Philadelphia police officer and member of the administrative staff surrendered Tuesday on homicide by vehicle charges.

Sgt. Thomas Winkis was behind the wheel of a Dodge Challenger on September 14th when it broadsided a van at Street Road and Ashburner Street.

Police say Winkis was driving under the influence at 100 miles per hour.

The driver of the van, David Farries, died two days later. His family claimed police were dragging their feet for two weeks before charging Winkis.

"For anyone to suggest, even if they're in an emotional state right now, that somehow this is special treatment is flat-out wrong," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

The crash happened just days after Winkis buried his ex-wife, who was also a police officer.

"On Labor Day his ex-wife suffered a brain aneurysm, passed away. He's got three children. Now, two weeks later, he's facing these charges," said Ramsey.

Police waited for the toxicology results before filing the charges. Winkis is charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence and involuntary manslaughter.

Farries leaves behind four daughters and seven grandchildren.

"It's tragic all the way around. I'm certainly sorry for the loss of life, I'm sorry for the loss of career. There's just no winners," Ramsey said.

Winkis was arraigned on Tuesday afternoon and bail was set at 10% of $50,000.

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