Judge again refuses to dismiss murder charge for man accused of causing Dravosburg school van crash

Tuesday was the third time defense attorney Casey White argued that his client should not be charged with murder. Once again, an Allegheny County judge disagreed.

For the last several months, the defense team for William Soliday has had the same argument — that the crash that killed 15-year-old Samantha Kalkbrenner was a terrible accident.

“It’s our position that Mr. Soliday was not operating his vehicle in a malicious manner,” White told Channel 11 after the hearing.

Tuesday, defense attorney Casey White asked Judge Bruce Beemer to dismiss Soliday’s murder charge, and instead allow him to face a homicide by vehicle charge, which holds a much lighter sentence.

The defense admits Soliday was speeding, but insists there wasn’t any malice, meaning he didn’t intend to kill anyone.

But, the judge thought otherwise and compared Soliday’s driving that morning to playing a game of Russian Roulette.

“At no point in time did he have a death wish. Nor did he have a death wish for anyone else,” White said.

According to investigators, Soliday was behind the wheel, and driving more than 100 miles per hour on Richland Avenue in Dravosburg while racing another man.

>> 2 men accused of racing, causing Dravosburg school van crash that killed 15-year-old girl

His car rushed into the Serra Catholic School van that Samantha had just boarded. She was killed, and five other students were taken to the hospital.

>> ‘Heart of her class’ Serra Catholic High School remembers student killed in crash in Dravosburg

Soliday has been behind bars since homicide charges were filed this past December.

“It’s frustrating, but you have to remember that someone’s life has been lost, and four other families. Five total lives have been forever changed. The Kalkbrenner family has the most heartbreak, and it’s just a shame and tragic set of events,” White added.

White told Channel 11, his next step will be preparing for trial.

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