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Montco Jury Finds Man Guilty Of Homicide By Vehicle In 2013 Crash, Not Guilty Of DUI

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) - The Upper Gwynedd man behind the wheel of a crash that killed a 21-year-old in Salford Township in 2013, is found guilty of Homicide by Vehicle and of leaving the scene.

But a Montgomery County Jury Friday also found him not guilty of being under the influence of alcohol at the time of crash, which would have carried significantly more jail time.

Sean Sperl faces at least one year in prison as the jury found him guilty of leaving the scene of the April 2013 crash along Ridge Road in Salford Township, and homicide by vehicle.


But a verdict of not guilty on Homicide By Vehicle while driving under the influence means he avoids that charge's three-year mandatory minimum.

The crash killed 21-year-old Ryan Petrille. His mother, Jill, is disappointed by the verdict:

"We're thinking it sends the worng message that you can go out and drink and drive and you can get away with, and being a part of MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, this is not the message we want to send."

Sperl remains free on bail until sentencing.

He lost control of his car around a curve while going more than 80 miles per hour. The car hit a utility pole and sheared in half, killing Petrille.

Sperl woke up in a shed hours later with no memory of the crash. His blood alcohol content, four hours after the incident, was more than 0.16, but his attorney argued he may have been drinking while in the shed.

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