Woman charged with HBV/DUI in fatal crash in Cheltenham

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and Cheltenham Township Police Chief John P. Slavin announced the arrest of Kaitlyn Dilemmo, 32, of Doylestown, on charges of Homicide by Vehicle–DUI, Possession of a Controlled Substance and other charges related to the June 6, 2022, crash in Cheltenham Township that killed 77-year-old Jacqueline Kovach of Philadelphia.

At approximately 11:30am, Cheltenham Township Police responded to Cheltenham Avenue and North 5th Street for a two-vehicle crash involving a Toyota RAV4 driven by Dilemmo and a Subaru Outback driven by Kovach. Kovach was found entrapped in her vehicle, and, once extracted, was transported to Einstein Medical Center and admitted in critical condition.

She died on August 18, 2022 from injuries sustained in the crash. Dilemmo was found lying on the roadway after having been ejected from her vehicle and was transported to Abington Jefferson Hospital for treatment. At Abington Jefferson Hospital, a nurse packaging Dilemmo’s personal property found seven baggies of fentanyl stamped with “Fly High” and a pteranodon, along with four empty baggies, which were suspected to have previously contained fentanyl. A urine sample from Dilemmo tested positive for fentanyl.

A crash investigation by Cheltenham Township Police, with assistance from the Montgomery County Detective Bureau, found that Dilemmo was driving eastbound on Cheltenham Avenue at a high rate of speed as she approached a solid red light. Instead of stopping, Dilemmo steered her vehicle into the left-turn lane and crossed over a raised concrete median and into the westbound lane, then continued driving eastbound in the westbound lane for 90 feet. Dilemmo’s vehicle then struck Kovach’s vehicle in the front driver’s side. Due to the speed Dilemmo was driving at the time of the crash, the forward momentum of the victim’s vehicle was stopped and it was pushed backwards and spun into the eastbound lanes of travel before coming to a rest in the westbound lanes of Cheltenham Avenue.

The crash investigation determined that the cause of the crash was directly related to the combination of Dilemmo’s level of impairment, as well as the speed and the reckless and careless manner in which she operated her vehicle.

Dilemmo was arrested and charged with Homicide by Vehicle–DUI, DUI, Reckless Driving, Possession of a Controlled Substance and related charges. She was arraigned on today before Magisterial District Judge Jodi Griffis, who set bail at $100,000 unsecured.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:00am on August 25, 2023, before Magisterial District Judge Emmitt Madden.

This case will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Scott Frank Frame and Libby Hemler.

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Photo courtesy of Montgomery County District Attorney;