Bel Air man indicted on manslaughter charges in fatal Cecil crash last summer


A Bel Air man was arrested last week after being indicted on manslaughter charges in the death of a long-time Perryville volunteer firefighter, who was killed in July as he prepared to tow a vehicle that had been involved in an accident in Cecil County, an assistant state’s attorney in Cecil County said.

Eric Schlerf, 38, of the 700 block of High Plains Drive, was indicted April 12 in Cecil County Circuit Court and arrested in connection with the death of Brian Williams, 51, who was standing on the side of the highway next to his tow truck about 10:30 a.m. July 9, 2017 when he was hit by a 2001 Jeep Cherokee, allegedly driven by Schlerf, Maryland State Police from the JFK Barrack said.

Schlerf, who was released Wednesday after posting 10 percent of the $10,000 bail, is charged with three felony counts, including negligent vehicular manslaughter and homicide by vehicle under the influence of drugs or a combination of drugs, according to Cecil County Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Sentman.

Schlerf is also facing traffic charges including failure to change lanes, failure to slow down for emergency vehicles, failure to control speed to avoid a collision, driving while impaired by drugs, driving while so far impaired by drugs and/or alcohol he can’t drive safely and reckless and negligent driving, according to online court records.

Sentman said he expects court dates to be set this week, with a trial date expected in four to six months.

He said he has been in contact with Mr. Williams’ family.

“I don’t want to speak for them, but obviously they’re very eager to finally see this case charged and have this guy brought before the courts and held accountable,” Sentman said.

Mr. Williams was a long-time member of the Community Fire Company of Perryville and had retired a year earlier after 28 years from Baltimore County Fire Department.

At the time of the accident, Mr. Williams was retrieving a 1993 purple Chevrolet Camaro following an accident on the northbound side of Interstate 95 near the Tydings Bridge toll plaza. Mr. Williams worked for Collette’s Service Center. He was pronounced dead about 15 minutes after the accident happened, police said.

Baltimore Sun reporter Colin Campbell contributed to this article.

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