Speeding teen charged in hit-run death of Willow Grove woman

Montgomery County authorities today charged a 17-year-old boy in the hit-and-run collision that left an 81-year-old pedestrian dead earlier this month.

The teen, whose name wasn’t released because of his age, was charged as a juvenile with homicide by vehicle and related offenses in the Oct. 12 incident in Upper Moreland that killed Zita Egitto.

Zita Egitto

He was driving the blue 2000 Volkswagen Passat that hit Egitto as she walked on a sidewalk near the intersection of York Road and Reed Street about 10:35 a.m. that day, District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said.

Investigators determined he was speeding at least 79 miles an hour in a 35-mph zone on York Road when he apparently decided to turn left across the opposing lanes onto Reed Street, Ferman added. To do so, he pulled on his emergency brake to slide his car around the turn, a maneuver commonly known as “drifting.” That caused the car’s rear wheels to lock up, and the teen lost control of the Volkswagen, which crossed the double yellow lines and hit Egitto on the sidewalk.

The car continued up an embankment, hit a large display sign and then crashed into the front support column of a building at York Road and Reed Street. Egitto was taken to Abington Memorial Hospital, where she died Oct. 15, Ferman said.

Egitto, of Willow Grove, was a mother of five sons, grandmother of 15 and great grandmother of two, according to her obituary. She was a retired dietitian and Catholic-education teacher who volunteered at the Upper Moreland library, according to the obituary.

The teenager was driving to Upper Moreland High School from morning classes at the Eastern Center for Arts and Technology when the accident occurred, according to The Intelligencer. Egitto had parked her car on Reed Street and was walking on the sidewalk to meet a friend when the collision occurred, according to the newspaper.