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Man tried to kill wife by hitting her with car, then by crashing the car with her inside, police say

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 5/15/19

A man whom police say tried to run over his wife and then tried to kill her by crashing his car into a guardrail in Londonderry Township on Monday night has been charged with attempted murder and …

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Man tried to kill wife by hitting her with car, then by crashing the car with her inside, police say

Posted

A man whom police say tried to run over his wife and then tried to kill her by crashing his car into a guardrail in Londonderry Township on Monday night May 13 has been charged with attempted murder and multiple other offenses.

Brian Todd Runkle, 46, who was living with his wife in the StarLite Motel on East Harrisburg Pike, is being held without bail while awaiting surgery for his injuries at a hospital, according to court documents.

He is headed for a July 12 arraignment in Dauphin County Court before Judge Deborah Curcillo, following a May 20 preliminary hearing before District Judge David Judy in which Runkle was ordered bound over on all charges.

The incident began May 13 when Runkle returned to the motel heavily intoxicated and told his wife to leave or that he was going to hurt her, according to arrest papers State Police filed with Judy.

Runkle’s wife started walking along East Harrisburg Pike when Runkle hit her in the back of her legs with a gray Honda Accord that he was driving, police said.

Runkle told his wife to get in the car or he would run her over. She did, despite knowing that Runkle was heavily under the influence of alcohol, police said.

Runkle tried to unbuckle his wife’s seat belt as he was driving on Schoolhouse Road, saying he intended to kill her by wrecking the car.

The victim told police that Runkle then crashed the car into the guardrail at Schoolhouse and Newberry roads while going 40 to 50 mph.

The victim escaped with her cellphone and called police at about 10:40 p.m. while running down Newberry Road. She told police that Runkle was chasing her.

The victim saw a house with lights on in the 1300 block of Newberry Road, and was taken in by a “good Samaritan,” police said.

Police arrived to find the Honda Accord crashed into the guardrail at Schoolhouse and Newberry roads, with nobody inside.

The passenger side door was open and the hood was pushed in, with “significant disabling damage” to the car, police said. The guardrail also had significant damage and had been pushed back a few feet.

A witness told police she saw the crash, and the victim running down the road holding what appeared to be a cellphone. She also heard Runkle screaming at the victim while chasing her down the road, police said.

Police met Runkle in the doorway of the StarLite Motel after getting a call from him at about 3:22 a.m. Tuesday. Runkle was taken into custody at about 3:37 a.m.

He had an injury to his right elbow area and was taken to the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where he is awaiting surgery, police said.

The victim told police that her chest hurt as a result of Runkle crashing the car into the guardrail, according to police.

Runkle was arraigned before District Judge William C. Wenner and charged with criminal attempt-criminal homicide, aggravated assault, criminal attempt-homicide by vehicle, DUI, terroristic threats, two counts of simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, harassment, abandoning a vehicle on public/private property, careless driving, reckless driving, and failing to notify police of accidental damage to a vehicle.