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Vehicle found, suspected in Pa. teen's hit and run death

The investigation into the late July death of a Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, teenager intensified with the seizure of vehicle that may have been involved in the fatal hit and run accident. Charges have not been filed in the car accident that claimed the life of the 19-year-old as she stood outside an apartment she shared with a boyfriend.

A series of discoveries led investigators to a pickup truck owned by a 40-year-old Hanover Township man. Police recently spoke with a witness who recalled drinking with the 40-year-old owner of a bar on the night of the accident.

The two men visited a strip club for several hours, and then left the bar in the business owner's Ford pickup. The hit and run crash occurred minutes after the driver dropped off the witness at home, shortly after 2 a.m.

Police confirmed the story by reviewing the surveillance video from the strip club and publicizing images of the truck. Tip callers guided police to an address blocks from the accident scene. The victim's boyfriend identified the vehicle as one that looked like the truck that hit his girlfriend.

The Ford pickup was seized and combed for evidence. Investigators secured hair and a possible bone fragment for DNA testing. The truck's GPS unit may reveal where the pickup was at the time of the accident.

The truck's owner has not spoken with police, although he has hired an attorney.

Evidence collection is a crucial part of proving criminal and civil wrongful death charges. The driver of the vehicle who struck the teenager may have been intoxicated. Leaving the accident scene was a crime and a negligent act.

The immediate family of the accident victim may rightfully sue a person whose careless behaviors are responsible for the death of a loved one. The family could receive compensation for their loss of companionship, pain and suffering and any expenses they incurred as a result of the teenager's death.

Source: citizensvoice.com, "DNA, hair found on seized pickup truck," Bob Kalinowski, Aug. 16, 2012

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