Driver Faces Vehicular Homicide, DUI Charges in Crash That Left Off-Duty Philadelphia Officer Dead

An Oxford Circle man faces homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter and DUI charges in the death of an off-duty Philadelphia Police officer in a hit-and-run crash along the Roosevelt Boulevard.

A tow truck driver and some other motorists helped stop Louis John Vogwill after the 59-year-old drove off from the Boulevard and Devereaux Avenue, leaving Lamar Poole Sr., a 42-year-old 12th district officer who recently entered his 19th year on the police force, for dead, said police.

Poole was riding a Honda VTX motorcycle west on Devereaux around 4:10 p.m. Sunday when a 1999 Toyota Corolla turning left from onto the Boulevard suddenly struck Poole's bike -- the motorcycle hitting the side of the car.

Philadelphia Police are mourning an off-duty officer who was killed in a hit-and-run crash Sunday. NBC10’s Doug Shimell has the details.

The force of the wreck threw Poole, who police say was not wearing a helmet, from his motorcycle. Witnesses told police the driver, identified Monday as Vogwill, briefly got out of his car and looked at Poole. Vogwill, who lives on the 6100 block of Loretto Avenue, then allegedly got back into his car and continued driving north on the Boulevard.

Poole, who suffered head injuries and internal injuries, was taken to Frankford Torresdale Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead a short time later.

The tow truck driver, who identified himself to NBC10 as "DJ," said he saw the crash and gave chase after the driver took off. DJ and another driver then boxed in the striking vehicle a couple of blocks up at Harbison Avenue.

"I can't believe this happened," said DJ. "I can't believe I did this."

"Fortunately we had a couple of witnesses, one being a tow truck driver, who followed the vehicle and really helped out big time," said Philadelphia Police Captain John Wilczynski. "He followed the car, pinned the car in and called police." 

Responding officers apprehended the driver and took him into custody. In addition to the hit-and-run, police said Vogwill was driving under the influence based on a blood test.

Vogwill remained at police headquarters overnight as he was questioned by investigators who then announced charges around noon Monday.

Poole died a little more than a week after Philadelphia Police Sgt. Rafael Ali died when his pickup truck slammed into a tree.

"This is two in one week where we've lost one of our own," Wilczynski said. "Everyone's a little bit heartbroken about it." 

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