NORRISTOWN >> A judge sent a Pottstown man to jail after a jury convicted him of striking a jogger and leaving the scene of the collision on a rural Upper Frederick roadway.
Michael Alan Dilworth, 29, of the 300 block of West Walnut Street, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to four to 23 months in jail on a felony charge of accidents involving personal injury in connection with the 5:28 a.m. Feb. 1, 2016, hit-and-run that occurred in the 600 block of Fagleysville Road in Upper Frederick. A jury convicted Dilworth of the charge during a trial in March.
Judge Steven T. O’Neill, who presided over the trial, also ordered Dilworth to complete four years’ probation after he’s paroled from jail. The judge said Dilworth is eligible for the jail’s work release program but only after serving three months in jail.
With the conviction, the jury found that Dilworth caused serious bodily injury to the victim. The woman, who testified during the trial, suffered a concussion, a broken right fibula, loss of consciousness and scrapes and bruises, according to court documents and testimony.
The jury acquitted Dilworth of a misdemeanor charge of recklessly endangering another person. But the judge convicted Dilworth of several summary traffic offenses, including careless driving and duty to give information and render aid.
Assistant District Attorney Laura Bradbury sought seek jail time against Dilworth.
At trial, Bradbury alleged Dilworth struck the woman with enough speed and velocity that it caused a huge dent in his car and his driver’s side window shattered. Bradbury alleged that rather than take responsibility for his conduct for what was an accident Dilworth chose to leave the scene and not give anyone his information in the hope that he would not be caught and evade any responsibility.
Dilworth, who was represented by defense lawyer Aaron Kostyk, did not testify at trial but his statements to police were read into the record for the jury.
State Police at Skippack responded to the scene of the collision and observed shattered glass along the roadway as rescue personnel provided medical care to the victim. The woman told police she was jogging southbound on the side of the road, facing oncoming northbound traffic, when she was struck. The woman added she had no recollection of the events that transpired when she was struck, according to the criminal complaint.
A witness, another passerby, told police he was traveling northbound on Fagleysville Road when he encountered a vehicle stopped in the roadway and saw a man talking to a woman along the roadside, according to the criminal complaint filed by state police Trooper Susan Rivchin.
“He said she appeared to be disoriented as she was hunched over catching her breath and he could tell she was in pain. She was asking if someone could call her husband,” Rivchin alleged, adding the witness reported the man who had originally stopped got back into his vehicle, left the area and drove toward Route 73.
The witness provided police with a description of the vehicle, “blue with a loud exhaust,” and a description of the driver.
Information was obtained by residents of the Fagleysville Road area that the vehicle and person matching the description delivered newspapers for a Reading newspaper, according to the criminal complaint.
Police subsequently developed Dilworth as a suspect and when they went to his Pottstown home they observed his blue Ford Escort with damage to its driver’s side door and side window, court papers indicate.
When confronted by police about the allegations, Dilworth said he was delivering newspapers at the time of the crash.
“Dilworth admitted he was distracted by reaching for a newspaper in his backseat and was not looking at the roadway during the time of the crash. Dilworth was apologetic and related he did not want to think he hit a person. He admitted to leaving the scene of the crash without contacting police,” Rivchin wrote in court papers.