A 90-year-old Tunkhannock woman placing her garbage out by the road Tuesday night died after being hit by a Bradford County man who fled from the scene.
Maxine Stroka was taken to Tyler Memorial Hospital around 8:30 p.m., and died shortly afterward.
John Russell Hanyen, 55, of Sunnyside Road, Milan, was located two hours later and was arraigned early Friday morning by on-call Magisterial District Judge Jennifer Vandine, on charges of homicide by vehicle and DUI, second offense.
A witness told police she was driving eastbound on West Tioga Street near its intersection with Jayne Road where the car in front of her swerved into the westbound lane and hit something. She initially thought it was a deer but then realized it was a person and a white garbage bag.
Hollett told police that she wrote down the license tag number of the 2003 Hyundai involved in the accident and then called 911, while watching the Hyundai driver get out of his vehicle, then get back into it and leave.
An alert identifying the vehicle was put out in all surrounding counties, and around 10:40 p.m. a state police car spotted the vehicle and it was pulled over heading westbound on the Rt. 6 bypass south of Tunkhannock.
According to court records, the arresting officer said he “detected an obvious odor of alcoholic beverages coming from Hanyen’s breath,” and he was taken to Tyler Hospital’s emergency room for a blood chemical test.
Shortly after midnight Wednesday, Tunkhannock Township Cpl. Robert Reimiller spoke to Hanyen who acknowledged that earlier in the evening he was drinking alcohol at a friend’s house.
Hanyen recalled seeing white bags in the roadway and swerved to the left but hit something and heard a thump. He said he didn’t know that he had struck a woman.
Bail was set at $75,000 and unable to post it, Hanyen was remanded to the Wyoming County Correctional Facility in Tunkhannock.
He has a preliminary hearing set before District Judge David Plummer on Sept. 19.