Charges filed in fatal 2012 Benner Pike crash; driver accused of ‘huffing’

mcarroll@centredaily.comFebruary 13, 2014 

A Bellefonte woman is facing third-degree murder, homicide by vehicle and driving under the influence charges stemming from a fatal car crash in August 2012 on Benner Pike.

Danielle N. Packer, 22, is accused of “huffing” from a can of dust cleaner while behind the wheel in the moments before she was involved in a collision that killed Matthew Henry Snyder, 25, of Howard, prosecutors said.

Packer was arrested Wednesday after a year-and-a-half investigation and placed in the Centre County Correctional Facility on $500,000 bail.

Court documents did not list an attorney for the woman.

Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said Packer is accused of buying dust cleaner from Wal-Mart in College Township and inhaling it in the parking lot and again while driving.

State police investigating the case found Packer’s vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic on Benner Pike near Rockview Road and struck Snyder’s vehicle, according to a search warrant filed in the case.

The crash happened around 9:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6, 2012.

Packer allegedly told police at the scene she had looked down to switch the radio and didn’t remember anything else before the crash, the search warrant shows.

A passenger in her vehicle later told police Packer opened a can of air duster while they were passing the Sheetz on Shiloh Road and began huffing it, investigators allege in the document.

The man told police that Packer asked “how much do you trust me?”

“Am I going to die tonight?” the man allegedly responded.

Packer is charged with felony counts of murder of the third degree, aggravated assault, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence and homicide by vehicle. She also faces several misdemeanor and summary counts.

She is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Feb. 26 in Centre County Court.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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