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June 21, 2023

Montgomery County man sentenced to at least 6 years in prison for deadly drunken car crash

Alexander Koenigsberg, 20, was speeding and had a blood alcohol level nearly double the legal limit when he wrecked last January. One passenger was killed and three others were injured

Courts Homicides
Montgomery County Fatal DUI Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Alexander Koenigsberg, 20, was sentenced to at least six years in prison for a fatal one-car accident in the early hours of Jan. 23, 2022, in Cheltenham Township. Koenigsberg was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana when he drove his 2006 Honda Civic off the road into two telephone poles, killing Nicholas Bednarek, 20, and injuring three other passengers.

A Montgomery County man will face at least six years in prison after a judge sentenced him for operating a vehicle while legally drunk, killing a passenger and injuring three others in a single-car wreck in January 2022. 

Alexander Koenigsberg, 20, of Huntingdon Valley, was sentenced to six to 25 years in prison after he drove off the road in his 2006 Honda Civic, hitting two poles at 1017 Greenwood Ave. shortly before 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 23, according to multiple media reports. 

Koenigsberg, who was 18 at the time of the accident, pleaded guilty in March 2022 that he was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana when the crash killed Nicholas Bednarek, 20, of Abington. Three other passengers were injured. 

Koenigsberg was charged with vehicular homicide, DUI and aggravated assault. He was reportedly going 62 mph in a 25 mph zone when he lost control of the vehicle. Lab tests showed that he had a blood alcohol level between 0.136% and 0.165%, about double the legal limit.

"It's all your fault, every bit of it, every injury. It's your fault. Your actions led to these consequences," Judge Risa Vetri Ferman told Koenigsberg, Pottstown's The Mercury reported

Assistant District Attorney Gwendolyn Marie Kull pushed for a harsher sentence, including at least nine years in prison for Koenigsberg.

The teens and young adults in the car had attended a birthday party at a bowling alley between 8 and 10 p.m. the night of the crash. Police found empty bottles of alcohol in the car. 

Despite multiple attempts to get the keys away from Koenigsberg, the 18-year-old drove anyway. The passengers reportedly pleaded with Koenigsberg to pull over.

Koenigsberg sustained spinal injuries and a broken clavicle. A 17-year-old girl sitting in the back seat without wearing a seatbelt was ejected through the windshield to her waist and suffered a brain bleed, broken vertebrae and a broken pelvis. A female passenger sitting behind Koenigsberg who was wearing a seatbelt suffered a spinal injury, fractured ribs and internal injuries. The male passenger sitting in the front seat wore a seatbelt and sustained a skull fracture, multiple broken vertebrae and extensive internal injuries requiring a ventilator. Bednarek was sitting in the back seat without a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

10 days before the fatal crash, Koenigsberg was stopped by police for driving 107 mph in a 65 mph zone. Koenigsberg had even posted a video of himself speeding on his Instagram account, KYW Newsradio reported.

"Before the accident, I was out of control. I was on a rampage with alcohol in the beginning, and then I turned to drugs. I thought drugs and alcohol were the way. I was self-medicating with drugs and alcohol," Koenigsberg said.

Koenigsberg must attend substance abuse treatment while in prison and complete 250 hours of community service once he is granted parole. He told the judge he wants to continue his education and use his story to help people suffering from depression.