A Lehighton man has been charged with homicide by vehicle for allegedly striking and killing a jogger March 12 in Washington Township, the Lehigh County District Attorney's Office announced.
Donald John Vito, 54, also faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment, along with multiple traffic violations, in connection with the death of 47-year-old Angela Pope, of North Whitehall Township.
Vito was traveling south on Route 873 near Phillips Road in Slatington when, around 11:45 a.m., he crossed over the center double yellow lines and into the northbound lane, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Pennsylvania State Police.
He allegedly drove across the lane’s fog line and struck Pope from behind as she jogged along the shoulder. Vito then slammed into a utility pole, investigators said.
Witnesses told police that Vito was speeding, weaving in and out of oncoming traffic and following another motorist too closely before the crash. Vito entered the northbound lane in an attempt to pass the other vehicle, witnesses told investigators.
Pope was pronounced dead on the scene, and an autopsy determined she died of blunt force trauma resulting from the crash.
The avid runner worked in sales and volunteered with Parkland School District athletic teams, according to her obituary. She is survived by a husband and three children.
A team of family and friends calling themselves “Angela’s Angels” has participated in several Allentown-area races in Pope’s memory. The group has also organized a tribute 5K walk and run, slated for June 8 at Parkland High School, according to their website.
Vito turned himself in to investigators Wednesday and was jailed at the Lehigh County Prison on $100,000 bail.