Suspect in deadly Hanover hit-and-run accident worked for York DA’s office during the investigation
YORK COUNTY — A Hanover woman charged in a deadly hit-and-run accident involving a pedestrian last year was hired by and working for the York County District Attorney’s Office during the ongoing police investigation of the incident, the York County District Attorney’s Office confirmed Tuesday.
Vanessa Renee Harris, 31, is charged with accidents involving death or personal injury and driving under the influence in the crash that claimed the life of Zackery Rodkey on Jan. 7, 2018, according to a criminal complaint affidavit filed in December 2018 by Hanover Police.
Harris’ employment with the DA’s Office was first reported by the York Daily Record, and later confirmed to FOX43 by a York County spokesperson.
“She worked for the county in the district attorney’s office from June 11, 2018, to Sept. 27, 2018,” York County spokesperson Mark Walters said via email. “(Her) last position held was unit secretary. (She) made $13.87 per hour and her separation was voluntary.”
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Tim Barker told the York Daily Record that he did not know Harris worked in the office until after he approved the filing of charges against her last year. He had no interaction with Harris during her tenure in the office, and said Harris did not have access to any reports in the hit-and-run case.
Rodkey, 29, of Hanover, was found lying in the roadway on the first block of North Railroad Street in the early morning hours of Jan. 7, 2018. An investigation determined Rodkey was walking on the sidewalk when he lost his balance and fell into the roadway at approximately 2:09 a.m. He lay motionless in the street for more than 30 seconds, then was struck by a vehicle.
The vehicle left the scene, according to the criminal complaint.
Rodkey was found by two other drivers who approached the scene after he’d been struck, police say. One of the drivers called 911.
Police watched surveillance footage from several businesses in the area to determine a suspect vehicle. On Jan. 12, a detective spotted a 2012 Honda Odyssey that matched the description of the suspect vehicle while driving around Hanover. The vehicle had “a scuff mark or material upon the front bumper in the lower passenger side corner, which is consistent with the location where the striking vehicle would have contacted Rodkey,” police said in the criminal complaint.
Police determined the vehicle belonged to Harris, and found the vehicle parked at her home on Jan. 15.
Harris allegedly told police she had been to two bars with family and friends on the night of the accident, had multiple alcoholic drinks, and drove home. She allegedly admitted that she drank more than she normally does, and claimed she did not remember the exact route she took to get home, police say in the criminal complaint.
Police say Harris gave them permission to review and process her vehicle. Detectives took a DNA sample from a “thick substance” stuck to the bumper and sent it to the Pennsylvania State Police Crime Lab for testing.
The test results, which were delivered in September 2018, determined the substance matched Rodkey’s DNA, police said in the criminal complaint.
Harris was charged on Dec. 3, 2018.