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23-Year-Old New Jersey Man Charged With Third-Degree Murder In Fatal I-95 Crash

23-year-old Arthur A. Lewis, of Trenton, New Jersey, was accused of driving recklessly at high speed after his vehicle crashed on Interstate 95 in Bucks County early Friday morning. Lewis was driving under the influence and was charged with third-degree murder and related offenses.

One of his passengers, 22-year-old Javairia Mahmood, was killed in the crash. Two other passengers, who were traveling in the back seat, sustained injuries.

Lewis was also charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence.

According to reports, Lewis was spotted driving an Acura sedan by two Pennsylvania State Police troopers. They spotted him driving at high speed north on I-95 near the Academy Road exit in Philadelphia, at about 12:35 a.m. Friday.

The troopers soon pulled the car over, but the driver of the vehicle tried to flee by driving more than 100 mph at one point. While speeding, the Acura struck a guardrail and concrete barrier on the right shoulder of the highway, causing the vehicle to flip upside down. A cloud of smoke was seen by the troopers as the vehicle came to a stop near the Bristol exit.

Mahmood, who was a front-seat passenger, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two other passengers, identified as 19-year-old Malik Wade and a 16-year-old, were traveling in the backseat of the vehicle. Both these passengers sustained injuries in the accident. The juvenile was taken to St. Mary Medical Center, while Wade was transported to Aria Health-Torresdale Campus. An update on their condition was not released. Lewis was charged with two counts of aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence in relation to the injuries suffered by the passengers.

A bag of suspected marijuana was found on the ground outside the car by the troopers. Another bag of suspected cocaine was found inside the vehicle. Authorities also stated that three bundles of suspected heroin were found in Lewis’ jacket pocket. When Lewis was admitted to St. Mary Medical Center, his eyes appeared bloodshot. Lewis was arraigned on his charges at the hospital and is being guarded by state police at the hospital until he can be moved to the Bucks County Correctional Facility.

29-year-old Misbah Mahmood, one of Mahmood’s sisters, said by phone, “We’re just grieving right now. It’s a shame she died so young.” According to Misbah, her sister was “trying to turn her life around and was applying to college.”

Misbah also said that her family didn’t know Lewis and they figured he must have been a friend. “I’m just really disappointed in how he drove. I wish he were a more responsible person,” she said.

News Source: www.Philly.com

Leckerman