NBC10 Philadelphia - Lu Ann Cahn
Nearly eight months of police work leads to an arrest in what's now a deadly hit-and-run in Delaware County. NBC10's Lu Ann Cahn tells us police tracked down the suspect by following a trail of auto parts ordered to repair his car.
On the same day that the victim of an Independence Day hit-and-run was buried, the man accused of hitting him was behind bars -- nearly eight months after the deadly crash.
In the early hours of July 4, a passerby was traveling on the 100 block of North State Road in Springfield, Delaware County when he spotted a man lying on the road. He called police who responded to the scene. Police arrived and identified the victim as Thomas Quercetti, 28, of Upper Chichester.
Investigators say Quercetti was walking along N. State Road when he was struck by a vehicle which fled the scene. Using only small pieces of a headlamp found on the road, police say they were able to identify the hit-and-run vehicle as a 2010-2012 Toyota 4Runner, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Quercetti was brain dead for several months before he was finally taken off life support last week. He died Feb. 20 and was buried the same day Pacurie Huynh was arrested while smoking a cigarette near his vehicle -- a Toyota 4Runner.
In court today Huynh visibly shook, according to NBC10's Lu Ann Cahn. In broken English, Huynh apologized to the victim's family and said that he was scared of what happened and that he went into mental shock after the wreck, Cahn said.
After a lengthy investigation, police identified the driver of the Toyota as Huynh, 29, a worker at area nail salons who lives in Upper Darby.
According to the affidavit, on July 5 Huynh took his 4Runner to Essington Auto Center in Philadelphia for a repair estimate. The owner of the shop said that Huynh didn't identify himself and paid for $7,800 in cash for repairs to the bumper, grill, passenger side headlight, hood and windshield.
The auto shop owner told investigators that the man claimed he had hit a wall, according to the affidavit.
However, investigators say that the damage to the car was consistent with that of hitting a pedestrian and the Quercetti's injuries -- severe head trauma and a broken femur -- were consistent with hitting a windshield, hood, grill and bumper.
Huynh was arraigned today on accidents involving death or personal injury and failure to render aid. He was sent to jail unable to post $500,000 bail, according to court records.
Police say he'll be facing a maximum of up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.