Churchville Man Gets 14 Months In DUI, Fatal Crash

Charles Robert Creaney pleaded guilty to negligent homicide by vehicle in connection with a December 2011 fatal accident.

A 23-year-old Churchville man will spend his next birthday behind bars after admitting to drinking and driving before a December 2011 crash in White Hall that claimed another man's life.

Charles Robert Creaney pleaded guilty Monday to a single count each of negligent homicide by motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and possession of marijuana, according to a release from the Harford County State's Attorney's Office.

Judge Maurice W. Baldwin sentenced Creaney to the maximum five years in jail before suspending all but one year and two months of that time. Once released, Creaney is ordered to serve five years supervised probation and make $13,787 restitution, the release states.

The accident occurred around 5 a.m., on Dec. 4 when Creaney's car crossed the center line and struck a car head-on operated by Donald Keith Van Gosen who was driving a 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier eastbound on Norrisville Road, or US Route 23, near Harford Creamery Road, Maryland State Police said at the time.

The 41-year-old Van Gosen, of Fawn Grove, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police and prosecutors say Creaney was going about 50 to 56 miles per hour in his 2007 Nissan Xterra in heavy fog while under the influence of alcohol, according to the release.

Creaney and his passenger, a 19-year-old Bel Air woman, were taken to York Hospital for treatment. Creaney's blood-alcohol concentration was .17 percent when his blood was tested three hours after the crash, the release states. The legal limit in Maryland is .08 percent.

Joseph Shmoe November 27, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Will Charles Robert Creaney be out driving drunk again in 14 months? Will our MVA gladly allow him to have a legal license to kill when is on probation? Oh sure, Charles Robert Creaney may claim that he can't get a job and support himself without a license and a car (weapon). That way he can kill again on the way to or from work...........
HDGresident November 27, 2012 at 08:09 PM
14 months in jail and 5 years supervised probation and $14k in restitution -- that's the punishment for killing someone while DUI? This is unbelievable! Let's write the Senators and Congressmen and state our outrage!
anonymous2 November 27, 2012 at 08:17 PM
he deserves more jail time.
Samantha November 27, 2012 at 08:39 PM
It has nothing to do with judgement, and everything to do with the fact that this person was drunk and driving and KILLED someone. He deserves more than this lousy 14 months and $13000 fine. He could be a great guy, but drinking and driving is not a "mistake." He took a man's life, and it was entirely his fault. He should be ashamed, and you should be ashamed for sticking up for him.
1ke November 27, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Separation of powers, checks and balances, jurisprudence. You can write to whomever you like, but I think this is where it stops.
Michelle Van Gosen November 28, 2012 at 12:14 AM
OK people lets get the facts straight here. First off Keith was not drinking at the time of the accident and second he was on his way to work. Needless to say he never made it to work that morning. Now Keith isn't here with his family. I know this because I am Keith's wife.
Michelle Van Gosen November 28, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Both were not drinking. The person that survived was drinking not the other driver that was killed.
Lauren November 28, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Michelle I am so sorry for your loss. No one should ever have to face this kind of tragedy. I hope you find comfort in memories of your husband and may God bless you during this holiday season ❤
Hunter S Thompson November 28, 2012 at 07:41 AM
And by the way, no amount of protest will change the sentence. Double jeopardy is something the Constitution of America protects us from; it's part of the 5th Amendment to be exact.
Michelle Van Gosen November 28, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Thank you Lauren. We will do our best. Everyday my family struggles with our loss. The hardest part is that my 2 month old grandson will never get the chance to meet or know his grandfather.
John DiFatta November 28, 2012 at 05:20 PM
The judge needs to go to jail
John DiFatta November 28, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Keith VanGosen was my son in-law and 14 months for killing someone is a complete joke. Plus the judge lets Mr. Creaney spend christmas with his family before he starts his jail time which is another slap in our face by the judge. We will not be able to spend anymore christmas's with Keith at all which is also unfair. The judge also is giving him work release which he will only be sleeping there which is another joke. This is why the judge needs to be in jail for letting such a thing to happen. Its all justice for the criminal, not the victims. To Mr. Creaney, this will be the best gift you will ever get in your entire life as we will continue to hurt for the rest of our lives. As for the judge he needs to be off the bench as he cares less for the victims.
Joseph Shmoe November 28, 2012 at 06:30 PM
What can be done to make Judge Maurice W. Baldwin NOT a judge? He is clearly not taking drunk driving seriouslyand needs to be replaced by a judge who realizes that this is not a joke.
David Rode November 28, 2012 at 06:39 PM
I am very sorry for you & your families lose. I know the feeling very well. My Aunt Shirley and my Uncle Dave were also killed by a drunk driver that crossed over the center line. There are no words that can change this. I am very dissapointed in Judge Baldwin's sentence. Charles Creaney showed complete disregard in his actions and decisions that evening.
David Rode November 28, 2012 at 06:49 PM
The FIX was clearly in on this case. Retired Judge Baldwin brought in just for this case. Mr Craney's lawyer, Karen Jones, is the daughter of one of Harford Countys' most prominent "old school, good ole boys" network of attorneys that is well conected with Judge Maurice Baldwin. This is a true tragedy of American justice. One murder equals 14 months (probably 8 months with good time) on work release and a $13,000 fine ??? Judge Baldwin should be barred from dispensing justice.
Roger Pedectar November 28, 2012 at 11:11 PM
I feel for the family and loved ones of the man who lost his life, but no amount of jail time or money will bring him back, and throwing the young man who commented this crime in jail will do nothing more than ruin his life. He has a chance to turn his life around once he serves his time. It is tragic that this man lost his life, but let us give the young man have a chance to turn his life around, before another life is ruined.
Penelope Patch November 29, 2012 at 01:42 AM
David, you read my mind on this one. It looks pretty obvious what happened here and it is a shameful thing for our County. A number of the judges are quite cozy with a select group of attorneys and other well-connected people in this town. The thing I don't get, is that when elections come around, why do folks continue to vote for these people? I have become so disgusted that when I vote, for the most part, if you're an incumbent, you're out. We really do need to clean house and start holding our elected officials accountable for their behavior. I am so sorry for the family who lost their loved one. I just hope that another family doesn't have to suffer one day at the hands (or headlights) of Mr. Craney.
Penelope Patch November 29, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Unfortunately, many of these people (not all) will continue to drink and yes, drive while drunk. Not unless they go into treatment and get help, will they begin their recovery. Part of the problem is that people who drink do not think they have a problem - it's called denial. To them, everyone else has the problem. It's always someone else's fault. It is not until many (not all) of these people are forced into treatment by some type of legal consequence that they begin treatment. Even then, relapse is part of the process. The legal system did a horrendous injustice to the family that lost their loved one. It also did an injustice to Mr. Craney by failing to use a prime opportunity by forcing him into treatment and holding consequences (jail time) over his head for not complying. In the end, the only one who really benefited by this was Ms. Jones. It's another feather in her cap and she must feel very good about herself.
Michelle Van Gosen November 29, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Michelle Van Gosen November 29, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Roger you are an idiot. My husband is dead. My husband has 2 children and now a 7 week old grandson that he will never get to meet or know. The one thing you are correct about is there is no amount of money or jail time that will bring my husband back. I seriously hope you never have to go through this kind of tragedy. It is no picnic for my family. I have the luxury of going to my husbands grave every week. Not you. You just have no clue what you are talking about.
David Rode November 30, 2012 at 01:29 PM
And, to add insult to injury (or in this case, death) Judge Baldwin is allowing Mr. Craney to report to jail after the holidays.
Michelle Van Gosen November 30, 2012 at 06:28 PM
It is actually a kick in the face to me. You just have to love our judicial system. He has been able to spend the last 2 Christmas's with his family. While my children and I grieve. Human life means absolutely nothing to some people in this world. I guess some people got what they wanted in this life. I sure do hope people can live with themselves with this decision.
MomB November 30, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Roger, I somewhat understand what you are saying, BUT...this young man should not get another chance. He might as well have pulled the trigger to a gun that killed someone because he knowingly got in his car drunk. The Van Gosen Family's life have been ruined due to this idiots "mistake". Really??? This young man that you are defending is a murderer!
MomB November 30, 2012 at 08:05 PM
kb squared-How can you make such a statement without knowing your facts!! An innocent man has been killed while going to work and YOU make a statement that he had alcohol in his blood at the time of the accident. How disrepectful can you be to his family. The only one who had alcohol in his blood and is completely at fault is the one who survived the accident! Get your facts straight before commenting!!
Carole Taylor December 18, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Kb - If this guy had killed one of your family members you's be singing a different song and life in prison wouldn't be long enough! No one that has ANY alcohol in his system has the right to get behind the wheel of a car. That's intent to commit murder!
Mike January 17, 2013 at 04:44 PM
folks they arent going to kill the person that was drinking that would be the only equalizer period. While IM SORRY for the LOSS Throwing the person in jail for life wont bring the person that lost a life back either. they will need real professional help not freaking Jail. Watch some Jail shows on tv and as you can see it makes you worse. SMH think people it aint illegal yet!!
Michelle Van Gosen January 18, 2013 at 12:56 PM
You know Mike you are an idiot. You obviously have no clue what you are talking about. If you think that it is ok for someone to kill someone else and think that is ok to do you are crazy. You must have killed someone yourself or you have never had someone you know or love that was killed at the hands of someone else. There is no amount of justice for murder. But people need to have some kind of punishment for what they have done. Walking the streets is not punishment.
Michelle Van Gosen January 30, 2013 at 04:11 PM
Well wouldn't you like to know. Charles Creaney's passenger Kimberly Martin is suing Charles Creaney and his mother Susan for 150,000.00. She has waited for more than a year to file this civil suit. It must be nice to sue someone at the expense of someone elses death. She has even moved out of state temperally so she could file these charges. Needless to say she is the reason that Charles Creaney was driving that night. She has some nerve to try to benefit from my husbands death. I guess we will just have to wait for a little while to see how this all plays out. But I do not plan to just sit back and let her get away with this. Even if I have to sit in that courtroom and listen to more of her lies about the events that took place on Dec. 4, 2011. Everytime someone went to question her she would change her story. Even up to the time of the pre trial for my husband her story has kept changing over and over. Now with this civil suit she has changed a good part of the story again. How many more lies is this girl going to tell so she can make everyone around her look bad about this situation. She is just as responsible for my husbands death as Charles is. Well only time will tell. I will follow this case until the bitter end.
Daisy January 31, 2013 at 01:30 AM
Hopefully the Van Gosen family is suing as well.
justin April 01, 2013 at 02:33 AM
we have all made mistakes i graduated in the 2009 class from north harford and i have lost many close friends as well as a brother and sister i am far from perfect and god made me that way for a reason as well as he has a plan for everything and everybody in no way am i defending any actons but i know that he is not happy that this happened and i dont even have to know this man to know that. god bless


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