Of The Morning Call
2:56 p.m. EDT, October 6, 2009
The twin brother who was facing criminal charges in the vehicular death of his brother at Celtic Fest in Bethlehem has killed himself, according to Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim.
Timothy Willgruber, 56, of Allentown hanged himself in his home earlier today, Grim said.
Thomas Willgruber, also of Allentown, was killed Sept. 27 by a mini-van driven by Timothy, police said.
Timothy Willgruber was expected to be charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, police confirmed today.
Police said Timothy Willgruber had a blood-alcohol level of 0.20. In Pennsylvania, a person who has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 can be charged with drunken driving. Police also said Thomas Willgruber also had been drinking the day of the mishap.
According to police, Timothy Willgruber was attempting to park his mini-van, and Thomas got out of the vehicle to direct him into a parking space in the 600 block of Guetter Street when the accident occurred.
At the time of the accident, police said alcohol was involved, and charges against Timothy were pending the results of blood-alcohol tests. He failed a field sobriety test at the scene, according to police.
Timothy and his twin brother both have records of driving drunk in Lehigh County.
Thomas was arrested in 2000 in Allentown, and Timothy was arrested in 2007 in Bethlehem, records show. Both pleaded guilty and were accepted into the accelerated rehabilitation program for first-time offenders.
Family members at the time expected the death to be difficult for Timothy because he and his brother had been inseparable since their birth on June 25, 1953.
"They were so close, like best friends," Thomas Willgruber's wife of 26 years, Nancy, had said. "They talked to each other every day. They didn't need a reason. They just talked about life."
Thomas, a door-to-door salesman who graduated from Allentown Central Catholic in 1972, was described as the consummate family man who doted on this daughters. The brothers shared a love of music and NASCAR racing.
They grew up in Allentown, where their late parents, Joseph and Geraldine, operated Willgruber's Cafe bar at Seventh and Allen streets from 1936 to 1977.
The building subsequently housed Paddy's Irish Pub, Crazy Horse Restaurant, Donna's Restaurant and Century Cafe, which was co-owned by their late sister, Linda A. Maritch.
Copyright © 2009, The Morning Call
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Tags: twins, death, suicide, drunk driving, NASCAR, The Morning Call, PA
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States (load item map)
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