Saturday, April 18, 2015

Who Killed Frances Gordon?

He's a white male, aged 45-to-55, tall and thin. And his white cargo van could be damaged. Have you seen him?

Who Killed Frances Gordon?

The driver´s van is a similar make and model as this one (this is not a photo of the actual vehicle)
The driver's van is a similar make and model as this one (this is not a photo of the actual vehicle)

In my column today about the hit-and-run death of 85-year-old Frances Gordon, I promised readers I'd post information from the Cheltenham Police Department about the incident, which they've detailed in flyers they've circulated throughout the Elkins Park area.

Here's what's on the flyer:

On Monday November 30, 2009 at 5:01 p.m.,  the Cheltenham Township Police Department received a report of pedestrian struck by a vehicle on Church Road just east of Old York Road in the Elkins Park section of Cheltenham Township.    The female victim was taken to Abington Hospital by Cheltenham EMS and pronounced dead a short time later.   

The victim has been identified as:   

                    Frances Gordon
                    Female, 85 years of age
                    Unit block of Surrey Road
                    Elkins Park, PA 19027

Witnesses at the scene supplied investigating officers with a description of the vehicle and driver that struck and killed the female.   The description of the striking vehicle and driver is as follows:

    White cargo/work van,
    Possibly Ford, 2000-2007
    Rear tinted windows
    Slotted silver rectangular grille
    No markings, lettering or windows on the side. 
    Possibly equipped with ladder rack and/or ladder. 
    May have small chrome hubcaps. 
    May have minor front end damage to the driver’s side front and/or grille area.

    White male
    45-55 years of age
    Thin build, Clean shaven,    
    Short white/gray receding hair
    Last seen wearing jeans, sweatshirt.   
    After striking the victim, the driver stopped, got out of his vehicle, looked around and then fled in the van eastbound on Church Road.  

The Cheltenham Police Department is asking for help from the public with any information on the striking vehicle and the driver.  Anyone with information is urged to contact: Cheltenham Township Police Department at 215-885-1600 ext. 1

 Anonymous information can be provided by phone at 215-885-1600 ext. 777 or the anonymous crime tip line.

Daily News Columnist
About this blog

When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

That’s why my blog is titled “So What Happened Was…”. To me, it’s the quintessentially Philly way of saying, “Once upon a time.” When I hear it, I know a good story is coming. And I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.

Read more from Ronnie Polaneczky at Earth to Philly, the Daily News blog on anything and everything "Green Reach Ronnie at

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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