Driver identified in hit-run that critically injured Temple student
The car involved in a hit-and-run crash that critically injured a Temple University student has been located. Temple police said early Thursday morning that the silver Mitsubishi Galant had been found after images of the vehicle were distributed to the news media.
Police say the 18-year-old man allegedly behind the wheel in the Wednesday night hit-and-run crash that critically injured a Temple University student told investigators he left the scene because he was "scared and panicked."
The driver of the silver Mitsubishi Galant, owned by the teen's father, gave a statement to investigators Thursday morning, authorities said.
The victim, 22-year-old Rachel Hall, was struck at about 7:25 p.m. Wednesday as she was riding her bike southbound on Park Avenue near Diamond Street.
Hall, a senior lacrosse player set to graduate next month, remained hospitalized in critical condition early Thursday afternoon, police said.
Capt. John Wilczynski said the 18-year-old driver, who had a learner's permit, told police he panicked after the accident and fled.
Police didn't immediately name the driver and said investigators have turned the case over to the District Attorney's Office. The driver faces charges of leaving the scene of an accident and related offenses.
Wilczynski said the 18-year-old and his parents were cooperating with the investigation.
"The family came forward and contacted police," he said. "They did the right thing."
Hall was thrown from her bicycle when she was hit at the intersection by the Mitsubishi, which was driving west on Diamond Street.
The vehicle fled, traveling west on Diamond and then north on Broad Street. It was recovered Wednesday night in front of the suspect's home on Marvine Street near Poplar in North Philly.
No one answered the door this afternoon at the suspect's home.
Witnesses told investigators three young men were in the vehicle at the time. The other two people in the car are not expected to face any charges.
Wilczynski, commenting on the recent spate of hit-and-runs in the city, stressed the importance of conscientious driving. Two hit-and-run crashes earlier in April claimed the lives of Latif Wilson, 4, and David Aliea, 2.
"This is the time of year when people are going to be out and there are going to be accidents," he said.
"Crashes are not always the driver's fault, and the best thing to do is to stop and wait for police."
Wilczynski said there are no updates in the investigations into the crashes that killed Wilson and Aliea.
In the Wednesday night crash, Hall suffered leg and head injuries and was taken to Temple University Hospital in critical condition.
Hall's profile on the lacrosse team's website says the Mullica Hill, N.J., native played goalkeeper and is a criminal justice major.
The team posted a message on Twitter Thursday morning thanking those who have shown support for the young woman and her family after the accident.
On her LinkedIn page, Hall wrote that she wants to pursue a career in law enforcement and is particularly interested in combating human sex-trafficking.
The honor-roll student is also a sociology club treasurer.
Emily Babay is a Philly.com staff writer. Vinny Vella is a Daily News staff writer.