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Police: Drunk driver in Murrysville crash had 2 kids in car

| Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Two children were passengers in a Penn Township man's sport utility vehicle when he allegedly rear-ended another vehicle in Murrysville, nearly striking the driver twice, and fled, according to police.

William Timothy Berry, 45, was drunk, and his license was suspended at the time of the Oct. 16 incident along School Road South, police said.

He was arraigned on Friday on attempted aggravated assault while driving under the influence and related charges and is free on $10,000 unsecured bond.

A phone number for Berry could not be located Tuesday, and online court documents don't list an attorney.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Murrysville police, Berry was driving slowly and swerving in an SUV on School Road South at 8 p.m. A Greensburg man told police he flashed his lights at Berry “in an attempt to wake him up or alert him to his dangerous driving,” Patrolman Joseph Malone wrote in the complaint.

Both drivers pulled over and Berry allegedly threatened the other man with bodily harm if he didn't continue driving. Police said that when the Greensburg man continued to his destination, Berry allegedly pulled out behind him and accelerated, rear-ending the other vehicle.

A verbal confrontation between the two ensued and when the other driver told Berry he was calling 911, Berry allegedly attempted to hit the man twice before speeding away, according to the complaint.

The victim reported the license plate to Murrysville police, who tracked Berry to a Penn Township home. Berry told police he had been there all night.

“I could immediately see that this man was extremely intoxicated,” Malone wrote in the complaint, adding that his speed was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet.

Two children in the home, an 8-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl, told officers that they “were in the car with their father and a guy cut them off. There was some yelling and then their father hit his vehicle with theirs and they were crying,” according to the complaint.

The victim identified Berry as his attacker, and police said Berry “admitted making a mistake” as he was being taken to Forbes Regional Hospital for a blood draw.

Berry told police he was involved in the incident but said he didn't strike the other vehicle.

Berry faces charges of attempted aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence, resisting arrest, driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked, reckless driving, accidents to attended property, operating a vehicle without insurance, three counts of reckless endangerment and two counts each of driving under the influence and child endangerment.

A preliminary hearing before District Judge Charles Conway is scheduled for Oct. 29.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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