Police: Philly Man Returned to Scene of Deadly Hatfield Crash, Surrendered
The driver responsible for a fatal crash that killed an 80-year-old woman in Montgomery County on Friday was arrested and has been charged with homicide by vehicle and a number of related offenses. An investigation by Hatfield Police and the Montgomery Detective Bureau found that on April 1st, just before 5 a.m., Jacquill Johnson was driving northbound on Welsh Road when he “disregarded a steady red signal and struck Shirley Russell‘s car, causing it to flip on its side,” according to a statement today by Montgomery County first assistant district attorney Edward F. McCann Jr.
According to an affidavit filed in the case, officer Keith Blank from the Hatfield Police Department arrived at the scene and discovered Johnson’s empty black 2006 Chevy Impala with no registration plate.
Russell, 80, was traveling west on Forty Foot Road through a green light when Johnson’s vehicle smashed into hers. Medical personnel declared Russell dead at the scene from “blunt impact injuries.”
Immediately after the collision, Johnson reportedly fled the scene on foot, but not before removing a registration plate from the back window of his car, police say. However, Johnson returned to the scene of the accident approximately an hour later and was arrested. According to the affidavit, Blank was searching the scene around 6 a.m. when a man approached him and stated, “I’m the one you’re looking for. I was the driver.” The man had no driver’s license, but wore a photo identification card around his neck bearing the name Jacquill Johnson.
The affidavit stated that Johnson said he was on his way to work at Hatfield Meats at the time of the crash. He continued to work on foot, later telling police that he panicked after the crash and decided to leave the scene.
“Mr. Johnson stated while at work he decided to contact his mother and sister and he informed them, ‘I got in a bad car accident and told them I loved them. I told them I left the scene and was going to get into trouble and hung up,'” the affidavit reads. About 20 minutes after the call, say police, Johnson walked back to the scene of the crash and turned himself in to Officer Blank.
In addition to the charge of homicide by vehicle, Johnson faces charges of Accidents Involving Death or Personal Injury, Accidents Involving Death or Personal Injury While Not Properly Licensed, Recklessly Endangering Another Person and multiple summary violations of the vehicle code. Johnson’s license is reportedly suspended, and his vehicle had no proper tags or insurance, say police.
Montco Assistant District Attorney Lindsey O’Brien will prosecute the case. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 13th at 10 a.m. where Magisterial District Judge Edward Levine will preside.
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