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FATAL HATFIELD CRASH

Aidan Thomas Jarrett, 19, of Quakertown, and Evan Buckman, 19, of Pennsburg, are charged with vehicular homicide for the death of Ida Lillo.

Men charged in fatal Hatfield Township crash in May 2023 plead not guilty at county arraignment

Aidan Thomas Jarrett, 19, of Quakertown, left, and Evan Robert Buckman, 19, of Marlborough Township, Montgomery County, have been charged with vehicular homicide in a Hatfield Township crash that killed a woman. (Courtesy Montgomery County DA’s office)

  • Courts

A 19-year-old and a 20-year-old entered not guilty pleas during their formal arraignment in Montgomery County Common Pleas court Monday to vehicular homicide and other charges in connection with last year’s crash in May that killed a Hatfield Township woman in another vehicle.

According to The Mercury, Aidan Thomas Jarrett, 19, of the 300 block of Erie Avenue, Quakertown, Bucks County, and Evan Robert Buckman, 20, of the 4000 block of East Campbell Road, Marlborough Township, Montgomery County, could face trial in September.

Jarrett and Buckman are accused of speeding on Bethlehem Pike at speeds between 95 and 110 mph on May 17, 2023 at 8:41 p.m., where, police said, they crashed at Bergey Road into a car carrying Ida Lillo, 62, of Hatfield, killing her. The driver of the car, Louis Lillo, was also seriously injured, suffering fractures and lacerations, per reports.

Each are free on $50,000 unsecured bail, per court records. In addition to vehicular homicide, each also faces charges of aggravated assault by vehicle, misdemeanor reckless endangerment, and reckless driving and illegal racing, per court documents.

On the night of the crash, first responders were dispatched to the intersection at for a report of a multi-vehicle crash with injuries and entrapment.

Investigators said the crash occurred when a silver 2015 Nissan Frontier was attempting to make a left turn onto Bergey Road from Bethlehem Pike and was struck by a 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer — driven by Jarrett — that was traveling at a high rate of speed. (Editor’s note: this crash occurred prior to the removal of the ability to turn left onto Bergey Road from Bethlehem Pike.) 

A third vehicle, described as a yellow Nissan 350z driven by Buckman, was also observed traveling at a high rate of speed through the intersection seconds after the crash, before stopping at the scene, police said.

The force of the crash caused the Nissan to flip on its side and travel through the intersection, seriously injuring the driver and passenger, according to the criminal complaint. Both were transported from the scene to Grand View Hospital, with Lillo being pronounced dead a short time later.

While on scene, Jarrett told police on scene that was driving over the speed limit, and when asked his approximate speed, he replied, "Uhh, pretty fast. Uhh a hundred,” according to police.

Investigators said they determined through witness’s statements, interviews with Jarrett and Buckman, and nearby surveillance footage, that Jarrett and Buckman were racing at high speeds in the southbound lanes prior to the crash. Data from the Airbag Control Module in the Mitsubishi showed the vehicle was traveling at 110.6 miles-per-hour at the time of the crash, and an analysis of video surveillance showed Buckman was traveling at 95 miles-per-hour, according to charging documents.

According to The Reporter, Hatfield Township Police Officer William J. Summerfield alleged in the criminal complaint:

“The reconstruction of the crash found the speed of the red Mitsubishi caused this crash,” alleged Summerfield. “(The vehicles were driven in) a complete reckless and wanton disregard for the safety of other persons or property.”

Jarett is being represented by Gregory Mitsch, Esq., of the Benstead, Mabon and Mitsch firm, and Buckman is being represented by Matthew Quigg, Esq.

The case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney and Chief of Trials Thomas W. McGoldrick.

All suspects and defendants are innocent until proven guilty. This story was compiled using public court records.

author

Tony Di Domizio

Tony Di Domizio is the Managing Editor of NorthPennNow and PerkValleyNow, and a staff writer for WissNow. Tony graduated from Kutztown University and went on to serve as a reporter and editor for various news organizations, including Patch, The Reporter, and The Morning Call. He loves creative writing, action figure collecting & reselling, music, and films with Michael Keaton & Al Pacino.

Monday, June 24, 2024
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