2 hit-and-run victims, same alleged drunk driver

February 1, 2010

In the early hours of January 8, 2010, Chelsea Murningham, 21 of Philadelphia, was the victim of a hit-and-run accident. So was Brian Reilly, of Penndel, Bucks County. They were each victims of alleged drunk driver Michael Saunders, of Philadelphia.

As he was leaving Albert's Café on Grant Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia, Michael Saunders hit and knocked over Ms. Murningham in the parking lot and then fled the scene. While other bar patrons were gathered around Ms. Murningham in the parking lot in an attempt to provide her aid, Mr. Saunders drove back into the lot. He sped in his minivan toward the gathered crowd and ran over 23-year old Brian Reilly.

Ms. Murningham was left with bruising on her right hip, as well as shoulder, lower back, leg, and neck pain.

Mr. Reilly was actually pinned underneath Saunders' minivan. He suffered a broken bone in his left arm, a dislocated left shoulder injury, a black eye, facial swelling, and extensive bruising on his back. Mr. Reilly must remain in an upper body brace in order for his left arm to remain in place and heal.

As for Mr. Saunders, in addition to inflicting bodily harm upon two individuals in the parking lot of the restaurant that evening, he is also responsible for causing property damage. As Saunders was attempting to leave the premises, before he hit Ms. Murningham, he crashed into a parked car. The owner of that car was present; he and Saunders got into an argument. Saunders proceeded to intentionally bang into that man's car five more times with his minivan.

After hitting the man's car repeatedly, Mr. Saunders hit two other vehicles parked in the lot, just before he hit Ms. Murningham. Saunders fled the scene after hitting her. He returned to the parking lot within minutes, which is when he ran over Mr. Reilly. Saunders fled, yet again. Mr. Reilly was transported to Aria Health at Torresdale while Philadelphia police caught up with and apprehended Saunders in front of his Philadelphia home.

Mr. Saunders was charged with driving under the influence and many felony counts, including attempted homicide and aggravated assault. He is also charged with risking a catastrophe.

6 comments:

Anonymous,  February 23, 2010 at 4:16 PM  

WHAT WAS THE VERDICT FOR MR.SAUNDERS?

Anonymous,  February 25, 2010 at 11:49 AM  

verdict?,, yiou think theres a verdict in 6 weeks?,,,, i was in a first offense, no accident, routine traffic stop, dui, ..... and it took me 31 appearances over4 51 months in a nj municipal court to get a verdict,....

verdict???????????

put that aside for now,....

i had sent a long response detailing a defense for the accused.

it was not posted on here, .... maybe i went too far with the details of a posdsible defense, ..

however,..

I am asking someone from the law office here, ... or even a bystander poster reading, ....

to explain to me once againg the dram shop law, .. liability, ....

and where this could stand in a defense.

it is clear the bar/grill, ... serves alcohol, and has a parking lot,

it is a pet peave of mine, .....and also the law i think, .. unless you can convince me otherwiise, ....that the bar/grill, ... is the responsible party

we can debate it, and i am more than willing to openly debate the subject, ... and i want to be convinced i am wrong

jim

Anonymous,  February 25, 2010 at 12:04 PM  

Jim your long comment was accidentally deleted. Can you send it to us again?

This post was speaking about the criminal DUI case and not any civil cases.

Anonymous,  February 25, 2010 at 12:41 PM  

yes, i was speaking about the criminal; defense, ... in the post that was accidently deleted before it being posted, ... by the web master or whoever oversees the posts,.

maybe i had just to many speeling mistakes, who knows, ...

the crux of the post, .... was that if this defendant can prove the bar/grill, over served him, ... ie.... credit card bills, receipts, or eyewitnesses, .....

can not the liability be put on the business, .......

criminal and civil liabilty?

i hsave no knowledge of the case, ..... it is just an academic question,...

if...

if if if, ....

in the post that was deleted i had wrote that i read some dram shop articles in this website, and the origianl saile dui website, .... and that it was my understanding, ... and i can be wrong, .... that liabilty lays with the business that served the alcohol,...

i also went into things like, ... no motive, .. no meaness or intent to harm, ...

it was a total alchol black out, ...

maybe, ... as the article reported no intent, ...

no domestic,...

so , if the defendant was drinking in this establishment for hours, and got in a car and did this by accident, ..

and the bar kept serving him over and over and over again, ...

i got from the other articles, it is the establishments fault, ....

so, ... it would be a ground breaking case on the criminal side, ....

convince me it is not ....

in all aspects, convince me the same thing that applies to a civil case, .... could not be applied to the criminal/dui side,...

i want to be convinced i am wrong, ...

or maybe im wrong on both counts, ... thats fine, i am here to learn, ....

in concluision, .... when i read the main article to this post, ...... my initial feeling was that the guy has a defense,

and that is is unfortunate people got hurt, possibly even crippled, ... but wherre does both crtiminal and civil liability lay,..

and at what point is a person not resp[onsible for his actiopns --- that was another point,

and i think it goews back to dram shop

and i want to be convinced i am wrong, .. so i understand this,.... so i can help people in the future,..

no one should drink , then drive, ....

2 drinks would be the max, .. an d even 2 drinks then getting right behind the whell may be bad for 50% of people,..

so, ....

please explain to me the dram shop law again, ......

jim

Anonymous,  February 25, 2010 at 3:11 PM  

This man is WELL known in the neighborhood for being a hot head,and to intentionally hit someone many times, leave the scene of the crime, go to his house, is unforgivable. I saw his lawyer on tv claim it was icy conditions and that is what caused him to lose control of the car, which is a crock! If the 2 poeple he intentially hit were my children, i would move hell and high water to have this man convicted for his SECOND dui (by the way) for many years to come. Him and his wife are WELL KNOWN also as drug addicts. He declined the drug test. SHAME ON ANY LAWYER WHO DEFENDS THIS PIECE OF CRAP!!!!!! SAHME ON THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IF THEY LET HIM FREE. No establishment is responsible for this man's horrific actions except Mr.Saunders himself....

Anonymous,  March 4, 2010 at 8:55 AM  

im not so sure about that, ...... we know that laws are now in place placing civil lisabilty on establishments

jim

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