Guilty Plea in Hit-&-Run That Left Man, Dog Dead

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Ernest Marks pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in August for striking and killing Richard Patterson and his dog in Upper Darby. (Published Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014)

    A Philadelphia man who admitted to striking and killing a Delaware County man walking his dog over earlier this year will learn his fate this summer.

    Driver Admits to Deadly Hit & Run: Police

    [PHI] Driver Admits to Deadly Hit & Run: Police
    A man turned himself in to police for the deadly hit and run that happened in Delaware County Sunday. (Published Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014)

    Ernest Marks pleaded guilty to causing a deadly accident and not being licensed during a deadly crash in a Delaware County courtroom Monday, according to court records.

    Hit-And-Run Victim

    [PHI] Hit-And-Run Victim
    A 69 year-old man was hit and killed while walking his dog in Upper Darby. (Published Monday, Jan 6, 2014)

    Prosecutors agreed to drop a handful of other counts stemming from the Jan. 5 crash that left Richard Patterson and his dog dead in exchange for Marks' plea.

    Man, Dog Killed In Hit-And-Run

    [PHI] Man, Dog Killed In Hit-And-Run
    A man and dog are killed in Upper Darby after a light colored vehicle hit them. (Published Sunday, Jan 5, 2014)

    Marks, 58, told police he drove off after the deadly wreck because he knew he was driving on a suspended license.

    "That's not an an accident," said an irate Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood in the days after the crash. "An accident is when you stop and you try to help... when you just leave someone, how cruel could you be?"

    Marks struck Patterson as the man and his dog crossed E. Providence Road near Arbor Lea Road in Aldan, Upper Darby Township. Both the man and his dog died instantly.

    "This is a heinous, cowardly act committed by a criminal...and we see it over and over and over again," said Chitwood.

    Chitwood said that Marks, who hails from N Felton Street in the Carroll Park neighborhood of Philly, admitted to police that he was behind the wheel when he hit something. Marks told investigators he wasn't sure what he struck.

    "To say that he didn't know what he hit but that he knew he hit something is absolutely ludicrous in my mind."

    Marks -- who worked as a mechanic -- had 11 past motor vehicle violations and eight prior drug arrests, according to Chitwood.

    "Here's an individual that should not be behind the wheel of a car," said Chitwood.

    Marks told police that he didn't stop because his license was suspended and he was wanted for a probation violation.

    Marks turned himself in after feeling guilty from the media reports he saw about the deadly crash.

    Patterson, 69, was outside looking for the family's 5-year-old dog, Baby, who escaped from their yard. Police say he found the dog and was on his way back to his home a block away when he and Baby were struck and killed.

    A witness said they heard the crash and saw a light-colored vehicle drive away.

    Chitwood said police recovered Marks' white 2000 Acura sedan dumped along the 800 block of N 47th Street in Philadelphia -- it had extensive damage to the front end.

    "Mr. Patterson was walking across Providence Road and he never say it coming," said Chitwood. "He was struck in the back of leg area, flew in the area and landed on the hood of the car and the driver kept going."

    Authorities say the driver was going 50 to 60 mph at the time of the accident. The speed limit on that portion of the road is 35 mph.

    Patterson left behind his wife of 48 years as well as three grown children.

    Marks remains behind bars ahead of his sentencing set for Aug. 8, according to court records.