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March 12, 2022

Montgomery County teen charged with homicide and DUI for fatal alcohol-fueled car crash

Huntingdon Valley's Alexander Koenigsberg, 18, of is accused of causing the wreck that killed his friend Nicholas Bednarek, 20, of Abington

Investigations DUI
Teen DUI Homicide Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

A Huntingdon Valley man accused of causing a deadly car crash in Cheltenham while speeding and under the influence of alcohol and marijuana has been arrested, authorities say.

Alexander Koenigsberg, 18, is facing charges including vehicular homicide while driving under the influence and aggravated assault for the death of his friend Nicholas Bednarek, 20, of Abington, the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office announced Friday.

“This young man turned his car into a lethal weapon,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele. “Many families were forever altered by this defendant’s actions, and my heart goes out to all of them.”

Koenigsberg and three more of his passengers were also seriously injured and hospitalized after he drove his 2006 Honda Civic off the road into two telephone poles at 1017 Greenwood Avenue shortly before 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 23, 2022.

Bednarek was pronounced dead later that morning at Abington Memorial Hospital. He was sitting in the back passenger-side seat with no safety belt on. An autopsy found that he died of ​​“multiple blunt impact injuries," the Pottstown Mercury reported.

Authorities found empty bottles in the car and allege that the driver had a blood alcohol level of .117% in the hours after the accident and marijuana in his system.

Authorities allege that Koenigsberg was driving northbound on Greenwood Avenue at 62 mph in a 25 mph zone when he lost control of the vehicle. The car struck a guardrail and slid for 142 feet before it crashed into two telephone poles, shearing one and breaking the other in multiple places.

Investigators found that the occupants of the car had all attended a birthday party at a bowling alley between 8 and 10 p.m. the night before the crash. Although alcohol wasn't served at the party, Koenigsberg and the other four were allegedly going out to his car to drink.

A friend of Koenigsberg's told investigators he tried to take his keys that night so he couldn't drive but wasn't successful.

A 17-year-old girl who was sitting in the middle back seat with no safety belt was ejected through the windshield to her waist and suffered a brain bleed, broken vertebrae and a broken pelvis.

Another female passenger seated behind the driver was wearing a seatbelt and suffered a spinal injury, fractured ribs and internal injuries.

The male passenger sitting next to Koenigsberg in the front seat, who was wearing a safety belt, sustained a skull fracture, multiple broken vertebrae and extensive internal injuries which required the use of a ventilator.