Northampton Township resident Michael Hartman appears to have caused a fatal Bucks County, Pennsylvania car accident on September 20, 2009, which took the lives of both 7 year-old Seth Rawicz and Elizabeth Rawicz (Seth’s mother) of Bridgewater, New Jersey. In April 2010, he surrendered himself to Upper Makefield Township police.
Mr. Hartman is currently free on $1 million unsecured bail. He has been charged with vehicular manslaughter as a result of the September 20 Pennsylvania car accident. He is additionally facing the following charges: involuntary manslaughter, recklessly endangering another person, reckless driving, speeding, driving outside his lane, illegally changing lanes, and passing in a no passing zone.
The fatal car accident happened just before 7:00 p.m. on a Sunday evening. Mr. Hartman was traveling northbound on Washington Crossing Road behind a Toyota driven by Scott Rawicz. In this no-passing zone with a posted speed limit of 45 mph, Mr. Hartman passed the Toyota. In doing so, he moved over into the southbound lane, but overshot and drove into the grass on the side of the road. Mr. Hartman quickly lost control of his car as he tried to bring it out of the grass and back onto the road. His vehicle spun, crossed again into the northbound lane, and the two vehicles collided. The force was great enough to keep each car in motion to the point where each car came to rest only after hitting large roadside trees.
Mrs. Elizabeth Rawicz and son, Seth, were transported by air to St. Mary Medical Center. Seth was pronounced dead upon arrival. Mrs. Rawicz, who suffered brain bleeding as a result of the crash, died at the hospital within a week following the car accident. Mr. Rawicz, the only surviving occupant in the Toyota, was treated at St. Mary Medical Center for a broken wrist, and fractures to his pelvis, sternum, and toes.
At Mr. Hartman’s arraignment, the Newtown District Court Judge declared that while out on bail Mr. Hartman is permitted only to drive to and from work appointments; he is not to make any other stops.
This tragic event caused Mr. Rawicz to lose his entire family. The horrible car accident could have been completely prevented. Mr. Rawicz could pursue a wrongful death cases against Mr. Hartman from the deaths of his wife and daughter. Our thoughts are with Mr. Rawicz.