Philadelphia man charged with Homicide by Vehicle in connection to December 21st crash in Conshohocken

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and Conshohocken Borough Police Chief George Metz have announced the arrest of Craig Coleman, 55, of Philadelphia, on Homicide by Vehicle and other charges related to a December 21st crash in Conshohocken that killed 82-year-old Richard Sitek of Conshohocken.

The crash happened on Wednesday, December 21st just after 2:00 p.m. In response to a report of a two-car crash with injuries, Conshohocken Police were dispatched to the intersection of Fayette Street and 7th Avenue. Police who arrived on the scene found Sitek unresponsive and trapped in his green 2001 Buick LeSabre. Sitek was extricated from his vehicle and flown to Penn-Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia, where he was pronounced dead at 3:52 p.m. Coleman was transported to Suburban Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries and released. An autopsy by the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Sitek’s cause of death was blunt force injuries he sustained in the crash.

From the announcement:

The joint investigation by Conshohocken Police, Montgomery County Detective Bureau and members of the Regional Crash Reconstruction Team interviewed witnesses and located multiple videos from area businesses, covering the time period just before the crash and of the crash itself. The investigation found that at 2:08 p.m., Coleman was driving his black 2020 Toyota Camry southbound on Fayette Street at approximately 47 mph. He was tailgating a Jeep, then abruptly changed lanes to get around the Jeep, cutting off a car already in the right lane, then moved back in front of the Jeep. At the same time, Sistek stopped his Buick at a stop sign on 7th Avenue, then proceeded to cross the two northbound lanes of Fayette Avenue and was moving into the southbound lane when Coleman’s vehicle crashed into the passenger side of the Buick.

Data received from the Toyota Camry showed that at approximately five seconds before the crash, Coleman was driving 47 mph (in a 25-mph zone). At 1.15 seconds before the crash, Coleman began applying the brakes, and the car was traveling at 42.9 mph at impact.

The investigation determined that Coleman was driving without a valid driver’s license, and operating his vehicle, in a reckless manner, including speeding, which caused the fatal crash. Further, the investigation determined that had Coleman been operating his vehicle at the posted speed limit of 25 mph, the Buick would have been completely through the intersection by the time the Toyota arrived at the intersection and the crash would not have occurred.

According to court documents, Coleman was charged with Homicide by Vehicle, Accidents Involving Death or Injury While Not Licensed, Reckless Driving, Careless Driving, and related charges. He was arraigned on January 12, 2023, before Magisterial District Judge Katherine E. McGill, who set bail at $100,000 10 percent.

A bail review hearing was held on January 13, 2023, and Court of Common Pleas Judge Henry S. Hilles III modified bail to $99,000 10 percent, with bail conditions that prohibit the defendant from operating any motor vehicle and prohibits contact with the victim’s family. The defendant was remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 24, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. in front of Magisterial District Judge Jodi Griffis. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Robert Waeltz.

Photo: Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office