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Lansdowne man arrested in DUI death of former Upper Darby High student

Dante Desimone
Dante Desimone

Yesterday, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan and Clifton Heights Police Chief Tim Rockenbach announced the arrest of Jonathan I. Vanderhorst, of Lansdowne, for homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence in the January 12 car accident that killed 18-yr-old Dante Desimone and critically wounded his friend Tim Robison.

Vanderhorst has been charged in the accident that took place on Sunday, January 12, 2014, at approximately 9:20 p.m., when a vehicle crash occurring at 531 West Baltimore Pike in the borough of Clifton Heights. Jonathan Vanderhorst was driving a Ford Taurus sedan traveling eastbound on Baltimore Pike. He stopped to make a left turn into the McDonald’s parking lot. After waiting for three juveniles to clear the area of the parking lot entrance, he attempted to make the left turn and collided with a Ford pickup truck traveling westbound in the curb lane. The impact caused the truck to hop the curb killing Desimone and severely injuring another teen, Tim Robison.

An analysis of Vanderhorst’s blood, which he voluntarily provided following the accident, revealed significant amounts of multiple psychoactive agents in his system including marijuana and clonazepam. The results of the toxicology report details the results which allowed authorities to determine that these drugs were taken at the same time or in close proximity to one another, which caused Vanderhorst unfit to operate a motor vehicle safely on the highway on January 12, 2014.

Desimone was a 2013 graduate of Upper Darby High School, where he played ice hockey and lacrosse for four years and was a co-captain of the lacrosse team during his senior year. Desimone continued to play lacrosse at Neumann University where he was majoring in sports and entertainment management. Vanderhorstfaces a mandatory minimum sentence of three to six years in a state correctional facility if convicted, and could face up to 40 years for both felony counts, according to the District Attorney’s office.

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