Officer Killed in Traffic Accident ID’d, Suspect Charged

The 18-year veteran of the department and father of seven was the victim of a hit-and-run.

Officer Lamar Poole Sr., left, and Louis Vogwill, right. Courtesy Philadelphia Police Department.

Officer Lamar Poole Sr., left, and Louis Vogwill, right. Courtesy Philadelphia Police Department.

Lamar Poole Sr., 42, had worked for the Philadelphia Police Department for 18 years, and was most recently assigned to the 12th District. The married father of seven was off-duty on Sunday afternoon, riding his Honda motorcycle in Northeast Philly, when he was hit by a man in a Toyota Corolla.

Poole was driving westbound on Devereaux Street while the driver of the Toyota, Louis John Vogwill, 59, was traveling eastbound on the same street. As Poole began to cross the Boulevard, Vogwill turned left onto the Boulevard and hit Poole’s motorcycle, critically injuring him. Vogwill, who lives just blocks away from the accident scene, initially stopped and got out of his car, which had spun around to face the opposite direction due to the force of the impact. But after he looked at Poole, he got back in his car and fled the scene. He didn’t get far: Two witnesses to the accident — one a tow truck driver, the other a female in a car — followed Vogwill up to Harbison, where Vogwill was trying to use one of the crossovers. The tow-truck driver pinned Vogwill’s car in and called police.

Officer Poole, who was not wearing a helmet, was taken to Aria-Torresdale Hospital for head trauma and internal injuries. He was pronounced dead that evening. A couple hours later, NBC 10 reported, a stream of police cars with flashing lights escorted Officer Poole’s body to the Medical Examiner’s Office. This is the second car-related fatality of a Philadelphia police officer in a little more than a week.

Sgt. Joseph Rossa, of the Accident Investigation Division, says the accident that killed Officer Poole is the eighth hit-and-run to result in a fatality in 2015. “After doing all these fatal investigations, it still amazes me,” Sgt. Rossa says, referring to the callousness of hit-and-run drivers. “Even one is too many.” Sgt. Rossa credits the two witnesses who got involved. “If it wasn’t for them, we’d be having a very different conversation.”

Vogwill has been charged with Involuntary Manslaughter, Homicide by Vehicle, Homicide by Vehicle-DUI, DUI-Alcohol or Drugs, and related offenses.

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