Almost one year after she took the life of an innocent motorist while driving drunk, a Bristol Borough woman now faces up to 10 years behind bars.
Karen Baxter, 59, accepted a plea deal admitting to homicide by vehicle this week for an incident on Jul. 23, 2018. It began when Baxter was already intoxicated by 6:40 p.m. and decided to leave the Irish Rover Station House in Langhorne.
Seeing Baxter was clearly drunk, employees decided to cut her off. She then left the building to get to her vehicle, but staff “tried to physically stop her” from entering her car, according to an affidavit.
After Baxter got into the car, she almost hit an employee on her way out of the parking lot. The staff called 911, but there was little they could do.
She accelerated to 70 mph on Durham Road in Langhorne, a 35 mph zone. But then Baxter crossed the yellow line while taking a curve and collided head on with a Kia Rio.
The driver, Francis Fischer, sustained serious injuries at the scene. Fischer died one week later at St. Mary Medical Center.
“Karen Baxter’s reckless conduct serves as another reminder of the dangers of drinking and driving. We believe her actions required the maximum sentence of 5-10 years on Homicide by Vehicle While DUI,” said Assistant District Attorney Jovin Jose. “However, no amount of incarceration will give solace to the Fischer family as they mourn the loss of Mr. Fischer.”
An investigation revealed Baxter with a BAC of .23, almost three times the legal limit. She must also pay more than $10,000 in legal fees and restitution.