Suspect Taken in Custody in Deadly Hit-and-Run That Killed 19-Year-Old

The young woman was walking with her boyfriend when they were struck by a pickup truck.

A suspect has been taken into custody in the Nov. 28 hit-and-run crash in Trevose, Bucks County, that left a teenager dead and her boyfriend seriously hurt, law enforcement sources said Friday.

James Howell, 48, of Philadelphia is charged for the fatal accident where he allegedly struck and killed Jess Kurtz, 19, and injured her boyfriend, Will Vanarsdale, 18, as they crossed Street Road at Philmont Avenue about 8:15 p.m.

Police said Howell got out to help Vanarsdale move Kurtz to the side of the road before fleeing the scene.

Howell is charged with accidents involving death or personal injury, accidents involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed, driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked, and duty to give information and render aid. He was taken into custody near 52nd Street and Haverford Avenue in West Philadelphia. 

Lower Southampton Township Police

Kurtz and Vanarsdale, both recent Bensalem High School graduates, were both taken to a nearby hospital. Kurtz died sometime the next day.

Jess Kurtz died after she and her boyfriend, Will Vanarsdale, were struck Monday night by a pickup truck driver at Street Road and Philmont Avenue. Police are now searching for the driver.

Three days following the incident, police said they recovered what they believed to be the vehicle used in the accident and processed it for evidence. 

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