Truck driver found not guilty in crash that killed 2 along Hersheypark Drive
DERRY TWP., Dauphin County — A Maine man involved in a crash that killed two people was found not guilty by jury Thursday of two counts of homicide by vehicle and involuntary manslaughter, according to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office release.
Joseph Zucco, driving a NAPA tractor trailer, ran a red light at the intersection of Hersheypark Drive and Mae Street in Hershey and collided with a mini-van on February 2, 2016. The driver of the mini-van, 49-year-old Julie Watson, died at the scene while her father and passenger, 83-year-old George Storer, died a short time later at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.
An investigation revealed that Zucco ran the red light going 53.5 MPH. The speed limit through the intersection was 35 MPH.
Judge Deborah Curcillo did find Zucco guilty of two traffic offenses, though: failure to drive at a safe speed and failing to stop at a red light, the release says.
Following the verdict, Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gettle said that the prosecution respects the jury’s decision but hopes this case sends a message to the community of the dangers of aggressive driving.
“While Mr. Zucco may have not been drinking or otherwise impaired, his recklessness caused the deaths of two citizens,” she stated. “We hope that this case will remind all drivers of our responsibility to drive in a safe manner. Nothing will bring Mrs. Watson or Mr. Storer back, but hopefully this serves as a reminder of the duty all drivers have to our fellow citizens while on the roadways of this Commonwealth.”
Read the statement issued by the victims’ families below:
“The Watson and Storer families would like to thank the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office and the Derry Police Department for their professionalism and tireless efforts to seek justice in this tragedy. The families would also like to thank the good Samaritans who stopped to offer assistance and provide statements of what they witnessed at the time of the accident. Finally, the families would like to take this opportunity to say they will be eternally grateful for the love and support provided by countless families in West Hanover Township and the community of faith at Linglestown Life United Methodist Church.”