Shane Brolly sentenced to 15-30 years in prison for drunken crash that seriously injured four teens
The 25-year-old man who seriously injured four Neshaminy High School girls in a drunken head-on crash in Northampton Township last year will spend more than 15 to 30 years in state prison.
Shane Brolly was heavily intoxicated the night of March 27, 2021, when he crossed into opposing traffic to pass a vehicle crash in the 300 block of Bridgetown Pike in Northampton Township and crashed into a vehicle occupied by the four teen-age victims, who were celebrating the first day of Spring Break.
Blood tests results showed Brolly’s blood-alcohol content was 0.21 percent, more than twice the legal limit to drive, and an investigation found he had been drinking for several hours prior to the crash. The investigation also found Brolly was removed from a Philadelphia bar because he was heavily intoxicated, and prior to Brolly driving away from the establishment, his friends pleaded with him not to drive, even offering him an Uber and a place to stay.
In imposing sentence on Thursday, May 19, 2022, Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey L. Finley told Brolly, “You are a lucky man that you are not here facing numerous counts of homicide by vehicle.”
Finley sentenced Brolly to three to six years in state prison on each of the five counts of Aggravated Assault, with each sentence running consecutively for a total of 15 to 30 years in state prison.
He was also sentenced to an additional 72 hours to six months for a count of DUI-Highest Rate of Alcohol, also running consecutively.
In addition, Finley ordered Brolly to pay restitution of more than $62,000 to the victims for unpaid medical expenses.
Prior to sentencing, Deputy District Attorney Robert D. James told the judge that the impact on these four girls and their families simply cannot be measured.
All four victims gave impact statements, telling the judge how their lives have been devastated as a result of this crash.
The teens spent several weeks in the hospital, suffering from serious injuries that included broken bones and fractures, traumatic brain injuries, internal injuries that required surgery, and multiple lacerations. They all continue to receive treatment for their injuries, along with counseling and physical therapy.
One of the victims described being in the car with her friends singing along to the radio and then waking up in the hospital unable to see because of fractured bones in her face. “Can I please wake up from this nightmare,” she recalled saying.
Another victim said she and her friends had spent the day celebrating the first day of Spring Break by going shopping and eating pizza and ice cream and were planning a sleepover. Instead, the crash sent her to the hospital for “three weeks that felt like three years.”
A third victim told Judge Finley that she still feels guilt because she was driving when Brolly crashed into them. Once an avid soccer player who had dreams of playing at Penn State, she recently underwent a fourth surgery to repair a fractured femur and is now afraid to go to college away from home.
A fourth victim continues to receive therapy weekly. In telling the judge about the trauma she and her friends suffered, she also wanted to thank first responders and the group of Good Samaritans who helped save their lives.
It was about 10:10 p.m. when Emily and Michael Lohin heard a loud crash in front of their property and called 911. When they went outside, they could see an active fire in an overturned Mazda SUV. Michael Lohin and another neighbor Eli Bielawsky used a fire extinguisher to put out the active car fire.
The Lohins and Bielawsky heard screaming and cries for help coming from inside the Mazda. The crash damage to the girls’ vehicle had them trapped inside. Michael Lohin was able to remove the vehicle’s sunroof to get three of the girls out, using his shirt to protect them from broken glass. Emergency personnel were able to get the fourth victim out. The Lohins remained on scene to comfort the victims until emergency personnel arrived.
The victims - two 16-year-old girls and two 17-year-old girls – were rushed to the hospital.
Based on evidence and witness statements, police determined Brolly was driving north on the 300 block of Bridgetown Pike and attempted to pass a vehicle by crossing the double yellow lines into the southbound lane. The area is a no-passing zone.
While in the southbound lane, Brolly collided with a Mazda SUV, causing the vehicle to roll several times, and pushing it back 50 feet off the roadway. The crash sent Brolly’s truck back into the northbound lane where it then struck the vehicle he attempted to pass. Brolly was travelling 70 MPH at the point of impact, with the accelerator fully engaged, and he did not brake.
Brolly’s passenger, Eion Quinn, also suffered serious internal injuries that required surgery, multiple abrasions from the seat belt, and hip and lower back injuries. Three occupants in the third involved vehicle that was struck by Brolly were treated at the scene and released.
At the scene, police located opened and unopened beers in Brolly’s truck and detected an odor of alcohol on him.
The investigation found that Brolly began drinking at 3:48 p.m. that day in Montgomery County, then went to two bars in Philadelphia and continued drinking until 9:52 p.m., when a bartender at the second Philadelphia bar cut him off and refused to serve him because he was extremely intoxicated.
Witnesses and friends begged him not to drive and even offered him an Uber ride, but he sped off instead.
In January, Brolly entered an open guilty plea to five counts each of Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Assault by Vehicle while DUI and Aggravated Assault by Vehicle, eight counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person and one count each of Accidents Involving Death or Injury While Not Licensed, DUI-General Impairment, DUI-Highest Rate of Alcohol, Driving at Unsafe Speeds, Careless Driving, and Disregarding Traffic Lanes.
Brolly, who is a non-US citizen and has lived in Philadelphia for two years, does not possess a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license. The operators license from the United Kingdom was suspended at the time of this offense.
According to records received from Northern Ireland, through the United States Department of Justice, Brolly also has an active arrest warrant out of Northern Ireland after entering a guilty plea in September of 2019 from a June 23, 2019, police pursuit that reached speeds of 114 miles per hour. The 16-mile chase ended when Brolly crashed and tried to flee on foot, according to authorities there. In that case, Brolly admitted to consuming six or seven pints of beer before driving. Brolly fled Northern Ireland prior to sentencing in that matter.
This crash was investigated by the Northampton Township Police Department and the Bucks County Crash Investigation Team and was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Robert D. James.
Media Contact: Manuel Gamiz Jr., 215.348.6298, email@example.com