HONESDALE, Pa. - A man involved in a fender-bender at a fast-food restaurant in northeastern Pennsylvania chased the motorist who hit him at speeds topping 80 m.p.h., leading to a fatal wreck, police said.
Joseph Diehl, 42, of Moscow, Lackawanna County, was charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence in the death of William J. Vogt, who had tapped Diehl's van in the drive-through line of a McDonald's restaurant in Hamlin.
"People let their emotions get out of control," said Wayne County District Attorney Michael P. Lehutsky. "Unfortunately, a quick stop at a drive-through window turns into a situation like this, with someone dead and someone else in jail."
State police said Vogt, 21, of Lake Ariel, backed into Diehl's van about 10:30 p.m. Monday.
Vogt and Diehl's wife, who had been driving the van, agreed to pull aside and exchange insurance information. Instead, Vogt drove off, police said. Joseph Diehl jumped in the van and drove after Vogt, leaving his wife in the parking lot but taking his 20-year-old stepson and 15-year-old stepdaughter with him, police said.
As Diehl chased Vogt, the stepson called state police from the van. Police said they could hear Diehl in the background threatening to beat Vogt.
Other motorists left the road to avoid Vogt and Diehl as they raced several miles along Route 590 and Route 191. Police said Vogt's car eventually veered off the road and plunged into a marsh near Lake Ariel.