Arrest Made In Death Of 18-Year-Old Lacrosse Star - New York News

Arrest Made In Death Of 18-Year-Old Lacrosse Star

Posted: Updated:
MEDIA, Pa. -

Police have made an arrest in last month's car crash that killed a Delaware County college freshman and lacrosse star.

Dante DeSimone, 18, was struck and killed while talking with friends outside a McDonald's on Baltimore Pike. Another teen was seriously hurt.

Jonathan Vanderhorst, 45, said nothing as detectives led him away in handcuffs Monday. He's now facing homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence and other charges in DeSimone's death.

"This was a very tragic incident that resulted in the death of 18-year-old Dante DeSimone, who was a freshman at Neumann University," Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said at a Monday afternoon press conference.

Whelan says Vanderhorst was behind the wheel of his Ford Taurus back on Jan. 12 in the 500 block of Baltimore Pike when he tried to make a left turn into the McDonald's and collided with a pickup truck coming his way. The collision caused the vehicle to jump a curb and strike DeSimone and Timothy Robison.

"Mr. Vanderhorst turned directly in front of that vehicle, causing a severe impact," Whelan explained.

Investigators say blood tests showed Vanderhorst was under the influence of a prescription drug for anxiety and a high levels of marijuana. Police say the two drugs were taken at or around the same time. 

"He turned left in front of that Ford F-250 causing that devastating accident as a direct result of his impaired condition," Whelan added.

DeSimone had just received a scholarship to Neumann University, where he was scheduled to play on the lacrosse team this Spring. His father was told of the arrest on Monday.

Robison was critically injured and is recovering in a wheelchair. He, too, was informed of the arrest.

"Our hearts, our prayers go out to both families especially the DeSimone family," Whelan said."They were shocked to learn this individual had marijuana in his system."

The D.A. also said lawmakers should look at this accident when debating the legality of marijuana in the future

"Marijuana should be illegal," he said. "It's a devastating drug, causing the impairment in time, place and manner which results in accidents like this."

Vanderhorst faces a mandatory minimum sentence of three to six years if convicted, but could get up to 40 years in prison. He's being held in the Delaware County Prison.

The other driver was not charged. He will be a witness in this case, FOX 29's Dave Schratwieser reported.

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