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Swatara Twp. woman charged after she allegedly struck pedestrian, fled the scene

Joyce Smith

DAUPHIN COUNTY — A Swatara Township woman faces charges after police say she struck a pedestrian with her vehicle and fled the scene.

Joyce Smith, 62, has been charged with accidents involving death or personal injury, failure to stop, give information and render aid, and failure to notify police of accident, court documents show.

The accident occurred on December 21 around 10:21 p.m. on Eisenhower Boulevard in Swatara Township. Smith allegedly hit the pedestrian while traveling in the northbound lane and left the area. According to the criminal complaint, the victim walked back to her job at Bob Evan’s and was transported to Harrisburg Hospital by another employee. She suffered a head injury as well as trauma to her leg and back.

Officers located numerous items lying on the ground following the crash, which included a passenger side mirror that was blue in color with a specific part number that came back to a 2004-05 Chevrolet Aveo, the criminal complaint says.

Officers contacted the Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Intelligence Center (PaCIC) which resulted in a search of every 2004-05 blue Aveo in Dauphin County.

Six days after the crash, officers conducted a search of the listed vehicles provided by the PaCIC and located a blue Aveo in a driveway in the 3000 block of Rutherford Street that had damage consistent with the accident, including a missing and damaged passenger side mirror, according to the criminal complaint.

Police made contact with the registered owner, Smith, and when she was advised what happened and why they were there, she said she should speak with an attorney, the criminal complaint states.

After Smith was informed her vehicle was going to be impounded, she asked police what she should do and the officer adviser her to contact an attorney then talk to authorities. That’s when Smith reportedly stated, “I didn’t even know I hit someone,” which led to the officer again advising her to stop speaking about the incident and contact an attorney.

The next day, December 28, a search warrant was approved for the vehicle.

“During a search of the Chevrolet, the inner wheel well molding matched with what was recovered at the accident scene with the remaining inner wheel well molding on front passenger side tire,” the officer wrote in the criminal complaint.

The officer added, “The mirror was matched with what was recovered from the accident from the accident scene to the mirror housing unit on the front passenger door. The mirror was missing on the Chevrolet and the recovered mirror also matched the mirror housing unit on the Chevrolet.”

On December 31, police advised Smith that she could retrieve the vehicle from their department. As the officer was updating her of the situation, Smith reportedly stated, “I did not stop because I thought I hit a pole,” the criminal complaint says.

Smith was arrested on January 7. According to court documents, unsecured bail was set at $10,000.

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