A Common Pleas Court judge in Bucks County has ordered an ex-trooper to pay over $6million in damages to Robin T. Williams, a 21-year-old woman in Philadelphia who was killed when her car was hit by a truck in 2012. This pickup was driven by a Pennsylvanian trooper who was already off-duty. The ex-trooper later pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence.
This ruling was provided on Wednesday by Judge James M. McMaster asking Barry Searfoss to pay a total sum of $6.26 million for compensatory damages, including compensation for punitive damages totaling to $100,000 to Robin T. Williams estate.
The defense attorney who represented Searfoss during the case, Athena Pappas, refused to say if Searfoss would consider appealing this ruling.
The former ex-trooper Searfoss of Coatesville was sentenced to 6-23 months in prison in 2014. The 46-year-old had served 5 months when he was released for good behavior as stated by Raymond Bily Williams’s estate lawyer. Searfoss was off duty when he became intoxicated after attending a charity event on May 18, 2012, at the municipal golf course in Warminster. After a blood test, it was concluded that Searfoss’ blood had 0.08 percent of alcohol content which was twice the set legal limit for driving. The event was held in memory of a woman who was slain by a drunk driver.
On that fateful night, Mr. Searfoss was driving his Toyota pickup truck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s westbound side at Willow Grove. His truck crashed into a Lincoln Town Car’s rear, a car that Williams was driving. The Town Car, which was manufactured in 1997, had suffered an engine failure and Williams was driving it at about 11mph on the left lane. Williams died of burns, smoke inhalation, and blunt-force injuries. Searfoss was driving the truck at 71 mph.
Williams was a college student who offered services as a caregiver in a retirement home in Warminster at the time of her demise. Even though Warminster was also sued, it was removed as the case’s defendant due to an immunity statute.