Crash Victim’s Friends React To Charges Being Filed

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WILLIAMSPORT -- Charges are set to be filed against a Williamsport police officer involved in a deadly crash.

Investigators said Officer Jonathan Deprenda's police cruiser hit another car and killed the driver, James Robinson, two weeks ago.

The Lycoming County District Attorney said Williamsport police officer Jonathan Deprenda will be charged for the death of James Robinson.

Investigators said Officer Deprenda was involved in a crash with Robinson on East Third and Railway Streets while Deprenda was responding to a call the night of January 12.

Robinson died at the scene.

Robinson worked at the Denny`s on East Third Street in Williamsport, and his co-workers said Robinson, known as “Boomer” is dearly missed.

“He was a great guy, fun to be around, always happy, always helping people but definitely a great loss,” said manager Jamie Whaley.

“Boomer was awesome, nice guy, did his job, great friend, funny, he was a good guy,” said serve Carla Page.

District Attorney, Eric Linhart, said Deprenda will face homicide by vehicle and involuntary manslaughter charges.

State police said Deprenda was going 88 miles an hour in a 35 mile zone when he collided with Robinson and that Robinson had nothing to do with the call Deprenda was responding to.

“I know they`re police but it`s terrible you know?” said Page. “You can hurt people out here, and I hope that this is a lesson learned to be careful.”

Robinson`s friends said this is a tragedy for the families of both Robinson and Deprenda.

“It`s just a loss, every time I see it, it`s just kind of a reminder of everything that happened, and it`s just a bad situation altogether,” said Whaley.

“I`m sure he didn't wake up saying you know I`m going to kill someone you know. It`s an accident, but some accidents can be avoided and this is an example of one of those times,” said Page.

The district attorney said Deprenda will be arraigned Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.

A joint news conference with state police will follow at 11 a.m.


  • Ed Stevens

    This is typical for any and all law enforcement agencies all around the nation, as soon as a person gets handed the sidearm and a badge they instantly develope a “God complex” where they can do whatever they want, whenever they want and have no consequences to consider. PA Storm Troopers(State Police) are synonomus with this description.

    But its about time that something gets done to these people that break the laws that they are supposed to be upholding, but then agin, a prime example of the “Do what I say, not what I do” attitudes they all have. Any law enforcement officers that break the laws should receive the same punishments that us non-law-enforcement officers have to face. But we all know they get special treatment in whatever happens with them, especially if it happens on-duty.

    The biggest thing that they need to realize and understand is……JUST BECAUSE THEY ENFORCE THE LAWS, DOESNT MEAN THEY ARE ABOVE THE LAW.

  • Jess

    I am glad to hear this. There is no justification for going that fast. None at all. The guy they were after had already wrecked his car. He wasn’t going anywhere. And yes. You’re supposed to pull off the side of the road. But on that road there is no where to go other than another street. And. Think about driving through town. You see a car 6 blocks away speed limit is 35. You’re going to turn. 88 miles an hour though you’d never know they were going that say till it was too late. It wot bring back Boomer but it needed to be done. I’m pretty sure if iterate me driving even 5 miles over the speed limit and killed someone I would be scum of the earth because I didn’t obey a law. The cops jobs are to protect. He was protecting anyone and the other officer had it under control. He was just trying to get to the scene and be a hero. Terrible thing. But maybe it will take some of the cockiness out of the officers that think they are so much better than everyone else.

  • helpifucan

    This is frightening! When people with a badge get little, or no, training with no rules (policies) to follow and no supervision, horrible things happen. It is a tragedy that could have been avoided so my question remains, who, besides the above officer, was in charge at this time giving him instructions?

  • James

    Alishia has it right 100%, Police in this area do not follow the Law, rather it be stopping at Stop Signs (rolling thur one is not a stop) or keep at the Speed Limits. My son and I were once past on Rt. 80 by 7 State Polices units going well and I do mean well over the speed limit. When I called dispatch, I was told they were most likely pasting thur this area, but were not from this unit. And that does not even address the local unit’s cars on Rt. 220/180 passing Williamsport. Nor the driving or should I lack of driving skills shown by Williamsport’s officers. It is high time they remind themselves, they not only have to uphold the Law when it comes to others, but they must obey the Law also.

  • Sal

    The officer decided to pass the vehicles in front of him on a two way street. With a cop car coming up behind you at 88 miles an hour in a 35 mile an hour zone the people in front of that cop do not have much time to react. If you know the location there really is nowhere on the right side of the road to pull over so I can only assume that the driver tried making a left had turn onto Railway street to get out of the oncoming cops way and at the same time the cop decided to pass him causing the two vehicles to collide. Yes the police officer was in the line of duty but driving 88 miles and hour in the city on a narrow two lane street is just reckless. Police officers have the responsibility not to put the public in harms way and that means even if you are responding to a call. I am sure the police officer did not mean for this all to happen but it did and it did because he was reckless responding to a call. It is sad for both the victim and the family. It is also sad for the family of the police officer. I hope the police be it State or Local learn some kind of lesson from this incident. Yes we all want a police officer asap when we call for help but not at the expense of someone’s life.

  • madameruby

    It is all just a shame. Some people may say, but he was a police officer, in the line of duty responding to a call. Yes, that may be true, however, he made a stupid mistake. There was no reason for him to be going that speed on that type of road. It is unsafe, no matter how much training driving cars you receive, or what kind of car it is, especially knowing there would be other vehicular traffic or pedestrian traffic. The police officer made a poor decision, he showed a lack of judgement. It makes him no less responsible. A lot of decent people are arrested by police everyday, all of them victims of their own poor decision making, or lack of poor judgement. This police officer is being held accountable for his actions, just as he as a police officer would hold a perpetrator responsible for their actions if he were to encounter them in the line of duty. It’s a sad story and everyone loses, especially those people that lost a friend or family member in the man who was killed.

  • Shawn

    All of these stating that it is all the Officer Deorenda’s fault, should really take a closer look at what happened. 1st he responding to a call to assist another officer with whom they were chasing due to multiple charges. 2nd and foremost THE LAW STATES when an emergency vehicle is approaching with its lights and sirens off you need to pull to the right and yeild to them. Did Mr. Robinson do that “NO”, what he did was pull across the road infront of the officer. Now was Mr. Robinson not paying attention while driving? Who knows, but it is not hard to miss flashing lights and sirens coming from behind you.

    • Mike

      If the emergency vehicle has its lights and siren OFF, how are you supposed to see it…or even know that it’s an emergency vehicle on the way to an emergency? Doesn’t matter…88 in a 35 zone is unacceptable for any reason. Look at the outcome. An innocent man is dead and the officer is at fault. Can you say “HUGE LAWSUIT”?

  • pam

    yes I know this was a deadly crash! But I feel that he should also get charge’s with carelessly drive and speeding the victim was minding his own business and was killed .The cop family get to see him and talk with him but the victim family can never see or talk to him ever and that is sad! the cop should have to pay for the funeral and pain and suffer and the house that he cause the victim to go into because of his drive deadly on the pa road. the cop all think just because they have that badge they can do what ever they think and I don’t think it fair to all of us you will probably gave him a slap on his wrist!!!!! he took a life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • funnygirl

      Pam I couldn’t agree with you more!!! I’ve been saying the same the since day one, the Cop should pay for Boomers funeral. 88 miles an hour when they already had the other guy in custidy. He should have backed off and slowed down

      • Todd Reeder

        State police now say that the police officer was going up to 101 mph. And that the chase for the suspect was called off. So the officer had no reason to continue.

  • Alishia

    I have observed that most police in the area, including the state police do not follow posted speed limits. They frequently do not follow the same driving rules such as not making a u turn in the middle of a semi busy street where there is oncoming traffic and there are no light sirens or a turn signal.

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