A York County man who was pinned inside an SUV for days after going down a ravine in Indiana in a car crash that killed his girlfriend was sentenced on Tuesday to serve four years in prison.
Kevin Bell, 40, of Newberry Township, pleaded guilty in Jennings Circuit Court to driving while suspended causing death in connection to the wreck that killed Nikki Reed, 37, of Seymour, Indiana, on Sept. 17, 2016. He’s been locked up for more than one year and will receive credit toward his sentence.
Bell was driving a 1999 Ford Explorer on U.S. Route 50 near the Kentucky-Indiana border when he went off the road, down an embankment and into a tree, the Indiana State Police said. He was traveling with Reed from York County to Indiana for a family birthday party.
In an interview, Bell told investigators that he crashed because Reed was rubbing his crotch and chest. He broke his leg. Eventually, after a few days, he was able to crawl out of the vehicle, police said.
Next, Bell gathered his belongings, including two 14-pound bowling balls. He found his cellphone face down on the floor, police said, and sent one text message to his boss that said “car accident” before the battery died.
Three days after the crash, Bell was able to climb to the road. He did not initially mention the crash, police said.
Bell had an active warrant for his arrest in Pennsylvania. Police said he was driving with a suspended license — and failed to report Reed’s death “even though he had cellphone access and signal.”
Previously, Bell said in an interview with the York Daily Record/Sunday News that he crashed when Reed showed him pictures on her cellphone.
“I loved her,” he said. “I feel terrible about what happened.”
Patrick Magrath, Bell’s attorney, could not be reached. Neither could Chief Deputy Prosecutor Drew Dickerson.
Bell has been incarcerated since Oct. 14, 2016.
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