A Mayfair man has been ordered to stand trial for the hit-and-run death of a Wissinoming woman last fall and for allegedly lying to police who investigated the crash.
Authorities claim that Angel Roque, 28, of the 4800 block of Devereaux Ave., was high on cocaine and marijuana and driving his pickup truck on the 5400 block of Torresdale Ave. when he struck and killed pedestrian Joyce Kenny, 54, last Sept. 29.
The crash occurred at 6:45 a.m., Assistant District Attorney John Doyle said during a March 13 preliminary hearing.
Roque allegedly failed to stop at the scene. About a half-hour later, he called police to report that his truck had been stolen.
At 8:10 that morning, police found the truck, a blue GMC with distinctive silver flame graphics on the hood and fenders, abandoned on the 5900 block of Milnor St., a loop street about a half-mile from the accident scene and a mile from Roque’s house.
The truck had body damage consistent with the hit-and-run, as well as a broken window and missing stereo consistent with a stolen vehicle, although the steering column was intact, Doyle said.
While surveying the area of the recovery, Officer Luis Cordero noticed that a nearby gentlemen’s club, Club Risqué, had exterior surveillance cameras. The business agreed to surrender the recordings to police accident investigators.
The video showed someone driving the truck eastbound on Comly Street, across Tacony Street and toward Milnor Street. It was seven minutes after the crash.
Seven minutes after that, the video showed a man fitting Roque’s description walking westbound across Tacony Street toward Devereaux Avenue, Doyle said.
Other parts of Roque’s alibi began to unravel upon closer inspection, according to the prosecutor.
In making his stolen vehicle report, Roque allegedly told police that he left his job at a Delaware County repossession company at about 3 a.m. and drove home. He reported that he noticed the truck was missing from outside his house at about 7 a.m.
A co-worker later told police that he and Roque had actually worked until about 5:15 a.m. The co-worker identified Roque as the man in the surveillance video. In court, the co-worker testified that Roque called him on the morning of the crash, warned him that police would be contacting him and suggested to him that the pair had left work at 3 a.m. The co-worker thought Roque sounded like he was intoxicated.
Despite the mounting evidence against him, Roque continued to deny involvement in the fatal crash when interviewed by Officer Tom O’Neill, Doyle said. To explain his intoxication in the hours after the crash, Roque allegedly claimed that he had taken Xanax after returning home from work.
No alcohol was found in Roque’s system.
Police arrested Roque on Oct. 12, two weeks after the crash.
O’Neill, Cordero, Officer William Lackman from the accident investigation division, the co-worker and a toxicologist all testified at last week’s hearing, as did a woman who saw the crash firsthand.
She and the victim were standing at a bus stop near Torresdale Avenue and Fraley Street when Kenny walked into the street. The witness turned away for a moment, heard a bang, saw the victim tumbling in the street and saw the blue pickup truck as it left the scene. She called 911 and tried to assist Kenny.
Doyle acknowledged in court that Kenny was jaywalking, but argued that Roque’s intoxication contributed to his failure to avoid the pedestrian. Accident investigators determined that the truck was traveling at 39 to 49 mph. The speed limit there is 30.
Defense attorney Guy R. Sciolla reportedly argued that the prosecution failed to present evidence that Roque was behind the wheel when the crash occurred or that Roque had intentionally damaged the truck to further his claim that it had been stolen.
Municipal Court Judge James M. DeLeon ordered Roque to stand trial for homicide by vehicle while DUI (a second-degree felony), along with hit-and-run, making false reports and DUI. DeLeon dismissed a lesser felony charge of homicide by vehicle, along with the misdemeanor tampering with evidence.
According to Doyle, the standard homicide by vehicle (non-DUI) charge requires the prosecution to show that the driver committed some other negligent act that contributed to the fatal crash.
The writer of this news article is not related to the victim in the case. ••EndFragment