DA: No charges against driver in crash that killed 11-year-old
The Philadelphia DA's office said their investigation showed 11-year-old Julian Angelucci's bicycle struck the driver's car from the side.
An 11-year-old's death after colliding with a vehicle in South Philly in May while the boy, Julian Angelucci, was riding his bike will not result in any criminal charges, the Philadelphia DA's office announced.
That decision was made based on several factors, prosecutors said, including that evidence showed Julian's bike hit the car from the side – he was not himself hit by the vehicle – and the fact that the driver stayed at the scene, and was not speeding at the time.
"The impact with the bicyclist occurred on the driver’s side of the vehicle," the Philly DA's office said in a statement. "The bicyclist hit the car near the hinge of the car’s front door as the car drove out of the intersection of 10th St. and Shunk St."
The May 18 collision occurred as Julian Angelucci, a 4th-grader at D. Newlin Fell Elementary School, was riding his bicycle down the sidewalk and into the intersection at 10th and Shunk streets.
The driver, who was headed westbound in a Mazda CX-9 SUV, did a "rolling stop" at about 21 MPH in a 25 MPH zone, and while driving out of the intersection, came into contact with Julian's bicycle.
Despite initial reports that the driver had left the scene of the collision, prosecutors found that she actually stayed on scene, called 911 multiple times, but due to chaos and confusion as first responders dealt with the scene of the crash, chose to turn herself in one hour after the crash at a nearby police station.
Anthony Voci, Chief of Homicide at the Philly DA's office, said 6ABC's news chopper captured video evidence proving the driver stayed at the scene for a period of time before leaving to turn herself in.
"We obtained the aerial footage from your television station and we actually saw that the driver of the SUV was on scene following the accident," Voci told 6ABC. "There was nothing in her conduct that could be deemed criminal."
Some criticism was mounted over the fact the driver, who has not been publicly identified, was not prosecuted for "rolling through" the stop sign, a technically illegal driving move that is practiced almost universally around Philadelphia.
"Unbelievable," the 5th Square civic advocacy group posted on Facebook. "Julian Angelucci’s killer blew the stop sign at 21 MPH, but DA Larry Krasner won’t file charges."
Family members of Julian blasted the verdict on social media, posted pictures of the involuntary manslaughter statute, and said they still believe the driver is criminally responsible. They told 6ABC that they would pursue legal counsel regarding further steps.
But Voci met with the family on Aug. 24 to express his condolences and explain the office's decision, the Philly DA's office said in a statement.
"This young man’s death was tragic," the DA's office said. "The gathering and analysis of this incident’s evidence was a lengthy process, but it was necessary to make sure the office’s charging decision was made correctly after considering all of the available information and evidence. The office thanks the family and the public for their extraordinary patience during this investigation."