DUI, Manslaughter Charges For Veteran Philly Officer in Fatal Crash - NBC Chicago
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DUI, Manslaughter Charges For Veteran Philly Officer in Fatal Crash



    Officer Winkis Surrenders

    A Philadelphia police officer surrenders to be formally charged in a fatal car crash. He's accused of drinking and driving. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013)

    A Philadelphia Police sergeant who was involved in a fatal accident a week after his ex-wife died, turned himself in on Tuesday.

    Sgt. Thomas Winkis, 45, is charged with homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence, involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

    On Friday he was suspended from the force for 30 days and, according to a police press release, Commissioner Charles Ramsey does intend to fire Winkis at the end of that time period.

    The charges and suspension come nearly two weeks after Winkis' car slammed into a van driven by David Farries.

    The accident happened about 11:30 p.m. on September 14 in Northeast Philadelphia when both men were approaching the same intersection.

    Farries, 55, was thrown from the van, hospitalized and died three days later. Winkis was taken to Aria Torresdale Hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

    Farries' family demanded justice for his death and welcome the charges brought against Winkis.

    "I'm very glad that he got charged and they finally got him," Tammy Farries, the victim's wife told NBC10 on Friday.

    Christine Farries, the man's daughter, says her father's death has been agony.

    "We had to sit there and hold my father's hand while he was dying in front of us," she said.

    Winkis was dealing with a personal tragedy prior to the accident.

    On September 7, his ex-wife, a beloved officer in the 26th District, Michelle Winkis, died suddenly from a brain aneurysm while on the job. Fellow officers gathered at a fund-raising event for Winkis’ children at the FOP Lodge #5 on September 12, only two days before the fatal accident.

    Law enforcement sources tell NBC10 Winkis spent time at Maggie’s Restaurant and Bar shortly before the accident.

    A private investigator hired by Farries’ family sent a letter to the manager of Maggie’s, demanding the business preserve surveillance footage that they say may show whether or not Winkis was drinking before the accident.

    Owners of businesses located along State Road say police took surveillance video showing  Winkis driving that night prior to the accident.

    On Tuesday, Winkis turned himself in and was processed, according to the District Attorney's Office. He was arraigned and then released after posting 10 percent of $50,000 bail.

    While happy that charges were filed, The Farries were upset authorities gave Winkis time to turn himself in.

    "If our dad was the one who killed a cop, he would have been in from day one," Farries' daughter Tammie said.

    Sources say Winkis was given the extra time because he had to undergo an undisclosed surgery. Treatment, Farries' wife and daughters claimed was not right.

    "If it was anyone else needing surgery, cops would have went right with him to the hospital," Tammie Farries said.