Lehigh Valley

Driver in fatal Allentown wreck going up to 100 mph before crash

Crash killed grandmother & granddaughter

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Police say a woman who caused a crash that killed a girl and her grandmother was going up to 100 miles per hour before the fatal wreck. The crash happened last month in Allentown.

Maria Eiseman, 32, of Bucks County faces a slew of charges including homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter and recklessly endangering another person. She is now headed to trial.

Police say she was going 65 mph when she hit another car, killing a grandmother and her granddaughter.

"It was bad. Smoke in the car, lady was hanging from her seatbelt," said Eva Arocho Cruz.

Cruz was one of the first on scene after a silver Ford Fiesta T-boned an Infiniti SUV, carrying a grandmother and three kids, at the intersection of South 4th and Susquehanna streets in Allentown.

In court, Cruz testified just prior to the crash she was stopped at a red light down the street.

"She ran that red light and continued very fast, on the left side," Cruz said.

The January 3rd crash left Yartezi Ramos, 7, and her grandmother Christina Watkins-Rivera dead. A seven- and eight-year-old were also injured.

In court, a man testified around 10:30 that night, the Ford passed him at a high rate of speed. He said he later saw the same car smashed on the side of the road.

An accident reconstruction expert told the judge computer data from the car, shows at one point Eiseman hit speeds of nearly 100 mph. She was at 85 mph near the Sunrise diner, just a football field away from where she hit Watkins-Rivera, at 65 mph.

These were speeds that even surprised Eiseman's attorney.

"I'm familiar with that area having lived in Allentown years ago. It's hard to believe someone would go that fast on that road, with the speeds that were mentioned," William Moore esq, said.

Eiseman, who pleaded not guilty, has a history of breaking the law behind the wheel.

In November 2015 in Bucks County, she was found guilty of carrying a false license and cited for failure to stop at a red signal.

She also has an outstanding traffic case in Cumberland County from 2016.

Police said that after the crash, Eiseman told them she was upset after a custody hearing.

She's due back in court in early March. Her bail is set at $300,000.


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