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Driver Gets 4 to 10 Years in DUI Death of Croydon Pedestrian, 67

June 4, 2018

Contact: William R. Murphy, 215.348.6334, wrmurphy@buckscounty.org

Tyler Buras
            Tyler Buras

A Bristol Township man who killed a 67-year-old pedestrian while driving drunk last summer was sent today to state prison for four to 10 years.

Tyler Buras, 28, pleaded guilty to charges including homicide by vehicle while DUI in the death of Gail Olson of Croydon.

Olson was walking along the shoulder in the 200 block of Newportville Road on July 2, 2017, when Buras lost control of his 1997 Buick Park Avenue sedan. The car crossed the center line, struck the victim and crashed into a house at about 7:45 p.m.

Olson was taken to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital, where she was pronounced dead of multiple injuries.

Buras told police he had consumed four to five beers and smoked marijuana earlier in the day. His blood alcohol concentration was measured at .213 percent after the crash, more than 2.5 times the level permitted for legal driving.

According to Buras, he was headed home after kayaking, using one hand to steady a ratchet strap that held the kayak in the rear of his vehicle. He told police he was reaching down to retrieve a water bottle he had dropped, steering with his knees, when the car left the road.

Eight months later, while free on bail and awaiting trial, Buras was arrested for drunken driving again in Bristol Township, this time refusing to consent to a blood test.

The second offense especially incensed and frustrated Bucks County Common Pleas Court Judge Brian T. McGuffin.

“You’re a drunk and there is a lady who’s gone as a result of it,” McGuffin told Buras. “It’s disrespectful to her memory to go out and drink and drive again … If killing someone doesn’t wake you up, what will, Mr. Buras?”

Buras, who ironically worked as an auto body repair estimator, said that he had struggled with alcoholism since adolescence.

The problem was exacerbated, he said, when his wife moved out with their 2-year-old daughter at the beginning of 2017. He said he turned to alcohol to deal with his resulting depression.

Assistant District Attorney William R. Murphy said that the victim had only one known relative, a sister, whom authorities were not able to contact to attend the hearing. Buras did, however, submit a letter of apology in the event that any friends or relatives of Olson did show up.

“There is no excuses for my terrible actions that led to Gail’s death,” the letter said. “I will forever be sorry for what I did on that day. I pray often to Gail. To let her know that I’m thinking about her. Expressing how sorry I am for what I did.”

“How could you drink and drive again?” McGuffin asked after reading the letter.

“I ask myself that every day, Your Honor,” Buras replied.

McGuffin accepted a negotiated plea in which he imposed an aggravated-range sentence of four to 10 years in prison, followed by two consecutive years of probation.

A condition of the probation is that Buras drink no alcoholic beverages or use any drugs.

“It’s a ticking time bomb for someone with an alcohol addiction to drink and get behind the wheel,” the judge said. “Sooner or later, somebody is going to die, and that’s what happened here.”

The case was investigated by the Bristol Township Police Department.


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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