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Hit-and-Run Driver Sentenced for Leaving Injured Pedestrian

April 7, 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: William Murphy, 215.348.6334, wrmurphy@buckscounty.org

A Morrisville man was sentenced Wednesday to serve 11 ½ to 23 months in the Bucks County Correctional Facility for leaving the scene after striking and critically injuring a pedestrian with his SUV last summer.

Gary Poole, 36, admitted that he illegally left before speaking to police about the accident, which occurred July 10 on State Road in Bensalem. He also pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence by hiding the damaged Chevrolet Suburban behind a nearby house and trying to convince a relative to report the vehicle as stolen.

Poole has been in the Bucks County prison since his arrest shortly after the accident. He told Bucks County Senior Judge Albert J. Cepparulo that he “just panicked” because he was driving with a suspended license and was on probation for a 2008 drug conviction in Philadelphia.

Poole had been driving at about 1 a.m. on State Road when he struck a 59-year-old Philadelphia man who was walking in the roadway. The victim suffered severe head injuries, for which he is still being treated. He did not attend Poole’s court hearing.

The accident was not deemed to be Poole’s fault. He initially had pulled over and tended to the victim while another motorist called 911. Poole said he stayed until police arrived, but then panicked and left before officers had a chance to speak to him.

“Quite frankly, if the defendant had stayed, he probably would have been charged with a summary offense” for driving with a suspended license, said Assistant District Attorney William R. Murphy, who prosecuted the case.

Poole said that he wrote the victim and his family a letter of apology from prison shortly after his arrest. Although Poole’s license was suspended, he never had been involved in an accident, defense attorney Michael Kotik said.

Cepparulo accepted the terms of a plea agreement, which called for a $200 fine for driving with a suspended license, plus three years of probation after Poole finishes his prison sentence.

Approved for release by Michele Kelly Walsh, Deputy District Attorney.

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100 N. Main Street
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