The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has decided not to press charges against the driver who fatally collided with an 11-year-old bicyclist in South Philadelphia in May.
Anthony Voci, chief of homicide at the District Attorney’s Office, said prosecutors have determined that the incident “is a tragedy, but … not a crime,” according to 6ABC.
The accident occurred on May 18th at the intersection of 10th and Shunk streets. The boy, Julian Angelucci, was killed when he collided with an SUV just past the intersection while riding his bike.
At the time, the driver of the SUV was traveling westbound on Shunk at 21 mph in a 25-mph zone, according to a speed analysis conducted by the District Attorney’s Office.
Voci told 6ABC that the driver “did what’s called a rolling stop through the intersection and Julian is coming down the sidewalk.”
“He comes off the sidewalk, and he does not stop before he enters Shunk Street,” Voci said.
While some news outlets originally reported the incident as a hit-and-run, officials said that aerial footage shows the driver present at the accident scene. Plus, they said, cellphone data shows that she called 911 several times.
Julian’s mother, Nina Angelucci, called the decision not to file charges “mind-boggling.”
“I’m not happy with that and I’m not going accept that,” she told 6ABC. “I’m not going to accept it.”
In a statement, the District Attorney’s Office called the boy’s death “tragic” and said it “extends its condolences to his entire family.”
“Over the last 90 days, the office has undertaken a thorough review of the evidence to see if it met the legal threshold to file charges,” the office said in a statement. “It does not. Our office reviewed the testimony of multiple eyewitnesses, traffic patterns, video evidence, more than a dozen cell phone calls, cell phone location plotting, and multiple 911 calls. They also reviewed a highly technical speed analysis of the incident from the Philadelphia Police Department, made a comprehensive search for additional video evidence, and created a timeline of events leading up to and following the accident.”
Still, along with Julian’s mother, bicycling advocates have criticized the decision not to file charges, blaming what Voci referred to as a “rolling stop” in the incident.
Ben Waxman, a spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office, defended the decision on Twitter on Friday, noting that rolling a stop sign is not considered criminal negligence under the law.