A 19-year-old Elizabethtown motorist has been charged with intentionally crashing his car then smothering his 17-year-old passenger to death.
In what is believed to be an unprecedented move here, police charged Benjamin Daniel Klinger with criminal homicide for the Dec. 4 crash on Route 283 in Rapho Township. Klinger was arrested at his home at about 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Police allege Klinger intentionally crashed a Toyota sedan near Strickler Road, then held down his passenger, Samantha Heller, according to reports.
He raced the Toyota at speeds above 100 mph prior to the crash, according to an arrest affidavit. Police found no evidence of braking at the scene.
Witnesses who came upon the crash scene saw a female passenger (Heller) hanging out of the car and heard her yelling “Get off of me!” the affidavit shows. One witness said the male (Klinger) was on top of the female’s head and torso.
An autopsy determined Heller died of multiple traumatic injuries and asphyxia, the documents show.
This Klinger kid is one sick muhfugga!
Acquaintances of the couple told police their relationship was rocky and described Klinger as “controlling” and “abusive,” the affidavit shows.
Klinger had previously threatened to intentionally crash his car during an argument with Heller, the affidavit shows.
The affidavit also indicates:
Heller had told multiple people, days before the crash, that she was pregnant. Klinger became aware of that.
However, the affidavit isn’t clear who was the father — if indeed Heller was pregnant.
At the crash scene, Klinger pretended to be unconscious when medical personnel arrived, according to police.
Police also found that Klinger, found outside of the car on the passenger’s side, was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash and wasn’t ejected from the car. That means, according to the affidavit, that Klinger deliberately got out of his seat and walked over to Heller.
Dr. Wayne Ross, who performed Heller’s autopsy, concluded “the cause of death is consistent with someone sitting on (Heller).”
The vehicle-crash charges are believed to be the first of their kind in such a case in Lancaster County.