Man charged in fatal crash on Route 202

WESTTOWN >> Jalmeel Conway was going to be late for work.

It was 9:03 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, and the New Jersey man was supposed to start his shift at the AMC Theater at Painters Crossing in Chadds Ford at 9 a.m. So he accelerated his 2013 Ford Fusion as he drove south on Route 202, swerving in and out of the two lanes to make it in as soon as he could, according to court documents.

Conway never made it.

Instead, the 26-year-old collided with a motorcycle that was stopped in a line of traffic at the intersection of Route 202 and Pleasant Grove Road, just south of the entrance to Stetson Middle School and about five miles from the movie theater where Conway worked. The collision threw the motorcycle rider from his seat and into a guardrail that separates the south and north bound lanes of travel on the heavily trafficked highway.

Injuries he suffered in the crash ultimately killed the rider, Dorian Dumas of Penn Valley. He was 31.

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On Wednesday, Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department (WEGO) announced that Conway had been arrested in connection with the fatality. He was charged with accidents involving death or personal injury while not property licensed, homicide by vehicle, reckless driving, careless driving and driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked.

Conway, whose licensed had been suspended by New Jersey between June 2016 and August 2016, turned himself in and was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Thomas Tartaglio of East Goshen. He was released on $100,000 bail, unsecured, and faces a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge William Kraut on Sept. 28.

The arrest came as a result of an investigation into the crash by Sgt. Ted Lewis and Officer Gary Frey, both of the WEGO department and both members of the Chester County Serious Crash Assistance Team.

The criminal complaint that Lewis filed in the case states that officers from the department were called to the scene at about 9:05 a.m., during morning rush hour traffic. They determined that Dumas’ Kawasaki 650 “Ninja” motorcycle had been struck from behind by Conway’s Ford, and that he had suffered a serious head injury. Conway, witnesses said, appeared to suffer a seizure of some kind after the collision; he is a diabetic.

Both Dumas and Conway were transported by ambulance to Paoli Hospital where Dorian Dumas Jr. was pronounced dead from his injuries the following day. Conway was treated and later released from the hospital, according to a press release issued by WEGO Detective Lt. William Cahill.

At the time of the accident the weather was clear and roadway was dry. At the time of the crash, the accident reconstruction team determined that Conway’s Ford Fusion accelerated into the stopped motorcycle. Just seconds before, he had swerved from the right lane into the left lane to avoid crashing into the line of cars in the lane. Dumas did have a helmet on at the time of the accident.

The Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department was assisted by the West Goshen Police Department, Good Fellowship Ambulance, Medic 91, West Chester Fire Department, West Chester Fire Police, Goshen Fire Police, Chester County District Attorney’s Office and the Chester County Coroner’s Office.

The WEGO police department thanked motorists who witnessed the accident and provided police with information for the investigation. One driver, identified as Michael Rocchi, told officers that he saw the Ford driving at a high rate of speed just prior to the crash. He followed it for about two miles, and saw it swerving between lanes on Route 202 in the span between the stoplight at South Matlack Street and Skiles Boulevard, where the entrance to Stetson is located.

The complaint states that Conway spoke with police voluntarily, and told them that he remembered his drive that morning until he crossed the intersection of Route 202 and Skiles. He estimated his speed at 51 mph to 52 mph. The accident team put his speed at about 35 mph when he struck the motorcycle.

To contact staff writer Michael P. Rellahan call 610-696-1544.