Hanover Police make arrest in two-year-old hit-and-run case that killed 4-year-old girl

HANOVER — Hanover Police have arrested a 34-year-old York man, charging him in the hit-and-run death of a 4-year-old girl in 2016, according to a criminal complaint.

Tony Shower Jr., of the 100 block of West Jackson Street, was arrested Thursday. He is accused of driving the white utility van that struck and killed Dakota Wright on Nov. 22, 2016, police say.

The girl had just arrived home on the 200 block of Princess Street shortly after 7 p.m., and was crossing the street to get to her house when the van hit her, according to police.

A vehicle matching the van’s description was pulled over by Penn Township Police at Cooper Road and Beckmill Road, just over two miles from where the incident occurred, according to the criminal complaint. Shower and another man — the vehicle’s owner — were inside. Shower fit the description of the man driving the vehicle at the time of the incident, but there was insufficient evidence and knowledge of the event to hold Shower and the other man, police say.

A few hours later, the same vehicle was pulled over again, this time by West Manheim Township Police. This time, the other occupant, whom police identified as SG, was the only one inside the vehicle. A closer inspection of the van yielded what appeared to be several strands of hair in the front grill and headlight area, police say. The vehicle was secured to preserve evidence, and a search warrant was served on it the next day.

A search of the vehicle indicated it was damaged, and strands of hair were recovered from the driver’s side headlight assembly area — where Wright would have been struck by the van.

The van also matched the vehicle seen on surveillance footage near the area of the incident that viewed by police in the courses of the investigation, the criminal complaint states.

Shower was interviewed by police several times throughout the investigation, according to the criminal complaint. He denied driving the van at any point in time, and in the initial interview with police, denied having any knowledge of the accident — but did say he heard something and thought the van had hit an animal. He also told police his driver’s license was suspended, and he was not permitted to drive, according to the criminal complaint.

In a later interview, police say, Shower told police he told SG he had heard a thud, and asked what caused it. SG told him he thought he had struck a child, Shower told police.

Shower said SG never stopped to see what they had hit, and the van was pulled over by Penn Township Police a short time later.

SG’s version of events differed from Shower’s according to the criminal complaint. Police were able to obtain SG’s version of events through a recorded phone call he made to family members from York County Prison. In that call, SG stated he was not driving — or even in the van — at the time of the accident, and that Shower was driving. SG said he and Shower were driving around all day while using drugs, and that Shower did most of the driving. Before the accident, SG said, Shower dropped him off at a local restaurant while he went to obtain more drugs. When Shower returned, he made SG drive the van and they were pulled over by Penn Township Police a short time later.

On Oct. 26 of this year, Hanover Police re-interviewed a witness at the scene of the accident, who told police he was about 200 feet from where the incident occurred. The witness said he heard the accident, followed by screaming, and turned to see what had happened. The witness said a white utility van drove from the scene, and that an interior light was on. The witness could see the driver, who he described as a white male with dark facial hair. The driver was alone in the van, the witness said.

The witness was shown two photo lineups — one containing Shower, and the other containing SG.

The witness identified Shower as the driver of the van, according to the criminal complaint.