As tragedies go, the hit-and-run that left an elderly Frankford man dead on Christmas Eve is a tale of everyday sadness on a red-letter day. By most measures, it lacks the star qualities that would have people talking about it for weeks.
But the death of William Rigley, 73, and the charges pending against the 15-year-old Juniata Park boy who turned himself in to police yesterday, nevertheless present a story filled with pathos, regret, consequences, and the taking of responsibility on Christmas Day.
Police say the teenager, whose name they withheld pending formal arraignment, was driving his parents' dark-colored Ford Expedition northbound on M Street when he struck Rigley about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday as he crossed the 3900 block of M near Erie Avenue in the Juniata Park section. The teen, who did not have a license, then drove off.
Rigley was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at Temple University Hospital.
Police had little information about Rigley, who lived on the 3800 block of Frankford Avenue, less than half a mile from where he was struck.
It appeared that his closest contact is a girlfriend who lives outside of Philadelphia, said Lt. James McCarrick of the city's Accident Investigation Division.
McCarrick said the youth presented himself with his parents at the 24th Police District late yesterday. He was questioned, and was allowed to return home pending formal charges expected today.
After the district attorney determines the exact charges, a warrant will be issued for the boy's arrest, and he is expected to again turn himself in, McCarrick said.
In his statement, the boy said he took the SUV without permission and was driving alone, McCarrick said.
He told police where they could find the Ford, which had "front-end damage consistent with being in an accident," McCarrick said.