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August 22, 2023

19-year-old charged in deadly hit-and-run in Port Richmond

Police in New Jersey spotted the blue Dodge Charger that was involved in the crash, investigators said. The alleged driver, Joseph Vannauker, was arrested

Investigations Crashes
Port Richmond hit-and-run THOM CARROLL/for PhillyVoice

A pedestrian was struck and killed by a motorist at Castor and Aramingo avenues in Port Richmond on Tuesday, police say. The driver fled the scene and was arrested in Pennsauken, New Jersey.

A 19-year-old Bucks County man is facing criminal charges after a deadly hit-and-run took place in Port Richmond early Tuesday morning.

Two Dodge Chargers – one blue and one white – were seen speeding down Castor Avenue shortly after midnight, police said. The blue vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian near Aramingo Avenue around midnight and then fled the scene, police said. 

Philadelphia Police initially tried to pursue the car, but were unable to catch up to it before it sped north on I-95. They put out an alert, including the description of the vehicle, over the radio. The blue Dodge Charger was spotted by police in Pennsauken, New Jersey. The vehicle had front-end damage and a missing mirror, police said. 

The alleged driver, Joseph Vannauker, 19, of Levittown, was charged Tuesday with vehicular homicide, murder and reckless driving, police said. 

The man killed in the crash has not been identified, but is believed to be in his 20s or 30s. He was knocked out of his sneakers and into the air upon impact, according to NBC 10. The man was pronounced dead on the scene. 

As of Tuesday morning, the white Dodge Charger has not been found.

The crash occurred in a section of Port Richmond with several big box retailers and other businesses. Police said they are hoping they have surveillance video footage that they can review as part of the investigation. Additionally, authorities plan to review traffic light camera footage to see whether the driver ran a red light before striking the man. 

This story was updated Wednesday, Aug. 23 to note that Joseph Vannauker was charged Tuesday.