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Allegheny Township man charged in May 21 fatal crash

Chuck Biedka
| Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, 12:12 a.m.
Vaughn Eric Krepps
Courtesy of the Westmoreland County Prison
Vaughn Eric Krepps
Bradley H. Johnson died in the May 21 crash in which Vaughn Eric Krepps and Jennifer Chenot are charged. Krepps is accused of vehicle homicide and other charges. Chenot allegedly drove him away the scene and police.
Courtey of the Johnson family
Bradley H. Johnson died in the May 21 crash in which Vaughn Eric Krepps and Jennifer Chenot are charged. Krepps is accused of vehicle homicide and other charges. Chenot allegedly drove him away the scene and police.
Lower Burrell police said Bradley H. Johnson was fatally injuried in this  Honda Accord he was driving along Route 56 near Leechburg  and Puckety Church roads on May 21, 2017. Charges were filed Monday against the alleged driver for vehicle homicide. That driver's girlfriend was charged with conspiracy.
Chuck Biedka | Tribune-Review
Lower Burrell police said Bradley H. Johnson was fatally injuried in this Honda Accord he was driving along Route 56 near Leechburg and Puckety Church roads on May 21, 2017. Charges were filed Monday against the alleged driver for vehicle homicide. That driver's girlfriend was charged with conspiracy.
Lower Burrell police allege Vaugh Eric Krepps drove this pickup that caused fatal injuries to Bradley H. Johnson of Lower Burrell on May 21, 2017.
Chuck Biedka | Tribune-Review
Lower Burrell police allege Vaugh Eric Krepps drove this pickup that caused fatal injuries to Bradley H. Johnson of Lower Burrell on May 21, 2017.

An Allegheny Township man is accused of running a red light in Lower Burrell last May and causing a violent crash that killed a Lower Burrell man.

Vaughn Eric Krepps, 46, of Labelle Vue Road is also accused of fleeing the scene of the May 21 collision at the intersection of the Route 56 Bypass and Leechburg Road that killed Bradley H. Johnson, 36.

Charges were filed Monday against Krepps.

Krepps' girlfriend, Jennifer Chenot, 48, is accused of driving Krepps from the accident scene.

A man driving a Lincoln avoided the crash and the widespread wreckage that resulted, but three of the passengers in that car required medical treatment.

A pair of the 22 counts that Krepps faces are related to the injuries they suffered.

License was suspended for DUI

Police said Krepps was driving his 1999 black Dodge Ram pickup at a high rate of speed on Route 56 headed toward New Kensington when the crash occurred at about 7:20 p.m.

Witnesses said Johnson was turning from Leechburg Road onto Route 56 when Krepps blew through a red light and struck Johnson's Honda Accord broadside.

According to several motorists, the pickup driver got out of his disabled truck, walked over to Johnson's severely damaged car, “grabbed his head and surveyed the accident scene.”

But one witness saw that man, who police say is Krepps, go over to a box truck that was pulled over to the side of the road and get in the passenger's side. It drove off.

That witness got a partial license plate number.

According to a police report, blood was found on the pickup's steering wheel. Police say DNA tests showed it was Krepps' blood.

Police said Krepps was driving while his license was suspended for drunken driving and they say there was an open beer can found in his wrecked truck. He also allegedly didn't have insurance.

Krepps is charged with homicide by vehicle, unintentionally causing a fatal accident, leaving the scene of an accident, failing to stop and render aid, reckless driving and numerous traffic violations, among them ignoring a red traffic light.

Suspect's girlfriend also charged

Police on Monday also charged Chenot, of the same address as Krepps, with conspiracy for allegedly driving Krepps away from scene of the wreck.

Police say Chenot was driving the box truck. She is charged with conspiracy.

Although police found Krepps and Chenot a short time after the wreck — still in the box truck — neither was charged until the monthslong investigation was completed.

Krepps was already in the Westmoreland County Prison on Monday in lieu of $25,000 bond for felony drug delivery charges and driving with a suspended license in Arnold last month.

Allegheny Township District Judge Cheryl Peck Yakopec arraigned Krepps on a video link with the prison and refused to set bond for him on the new charges.

Chenot also was arraigned by Yakopec and released in lieu of $5,000 non-monetary bond pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for both Krepps and Chenot on Oct. 10.

Johnson's family said he had just moved to Lower Burrell to manage a restaurant at the Pittsburgh Mills mall complex and he really enjoyed the job. He had lived in California.

“He was happy,” said his sister, Natalie Worley, of Texas.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4711, cbiedka@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.

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