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Man Sentenced to 7 to 14 Years for Killing Solebury Couple in Crash

July 19, 2017

Contact: Robert D. James, 215.348.6332, rdjames@buckscounty.org

Sean Adee
        Sean Adee

A drug-addicted man who caused a 2015 crash that killed a well-known Solebury couple was sentenced last week to serve seven to 14 years in state prison.

Sean Michael Adee, 34, of North Wales, had pleaded no contest in January to two counts of homicide by vehicle in the Dec. 8, 2015, collision that killed Ian McNeill, 67, and his wife, Jane, 66.

Adee's southbound Nissan X-Terra crashed head-on into the McNeills' northbound Volvo on Route 202 near River Road in Solebury. He did not suffer life-threatening injuries, but the McNeills were pronounced dead at the scene.

On Friday, Senior Judge Linda Ludgate of Berks County imposed two consecutive sentences of three and one-half to seven years. The judge said she was troubled that Adee had been charged with a drug-related DUI in Michigan a few months after the fatal Solebury crash. That case remains pending. 

"There are body bags after this accident, but what has he learned?" Ludgate said.

Accident reconstruction experts determined that Adee was speeding, traveling between 11 and 16 miles per hour above the posted speed limit of 45 when the crash occurred. Multiple witnesses also reported seeing Adee's vehicle swerving and travelling erratically on Route 202 before the collision.

Adee originally was charged with homicide by vehicle while DUI, said Deputy District Attorney Robert D. James, but his blood sample accidentally was destroyed at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne. James said a urine sample showed traces of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, but it could not be concluded that Adee took the drug the day of the crash.

The McNeills were en route to meet one of their two sons for dinner in New Jersey when they were killed. Well known for their volunteer work in the area, the couple were "pillars of the community," Jane McNeill's brother, Paul McCarten, said in a victim-impact statement. "They were the best of our society, and they leave a legacy for all of us to follow."

The defendant's father, Michael Adee, said his son's life had unraveled after he developed an addiction to painkillers. He said Sean Adee became addicted after hurting his back while serving as a volunteer firefighter, causing him to lose his job and become socially isolated.

James, however, said Adee had shown little remorse for the McNeills' deaths, and had minimized his crimes in recorded conversations with his girlfriend.

"This is a highly narcissistic man who thinks he is the most important person in the world," James said after the sentencing. "This is the inevitable result of his reckless lifestyle."

The case was investigated by the Solebury Township Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police. 

Approved for release by Robert D. James, Deputy District Attorney.

Office of the District Attorney
Bucks County Justice Center
100 N. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901 
Phone: 215-348-6344 
Fax: 215-348-6299

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