Victim critically hurt by hit-and-run driver
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Tamaqua Police Chief Dave Mattson, left, and Officer Mike Hobbes investigate a maroon Subaru that was allegedly involved in a hit-and-run that occurred last night in Tamaqua.
A 20-year-old victim of a hit-and-run in Tamaqua is in critical condition today after being struck by a driver just after 9 p.m. Monday in the 100 block of Lafayette Street.
Robert Rehrig, a well-known local metal scrapper from Washington Street, was hit as he was using his metal dolly to pull a beer meister up the steep Lafayette Street hill near the iron steps. A passer-by called 911 after spotting Rehrig lying in the middle of the road bleeding from his head. The beer meister, metal dolly, a single shoe and debris from the striking vehicle were strewn about the scene.
Tamaqua EMS and Carbon Medics transported Rehrig to the Tamaqua Middle School parking lot where he was flown via PennStar helicopter to St Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill.
Both Tamaqua police and state police responded and worked together on the investigation. Trooper Cpl. Dave Dupree from the Reading Troop L Forensic Services Unit was also called in to help reconstruct the hit and run.
Thirteen yellow plastic markers could be seen marking each piece of evidence at the scene.
A headlight found at the scene was quickly recognized by lead investigator Officer Matt Bynon as that of a passenger side headlight of a Subaru. An immediate all points bulletin (APB) was dispatched for any vehicle matching the same damage description. Tamaqua, Rush Township, West Penn Township, Coaldale police, as well as Frackville state police were all involved in a countywide search. After searching the immediate area and then focusing controlled efforts on outer zones within Tamaqua, Tamaqua Police Chief Dave Mattson discovered a 1997 maroon Subaru with a broken front headlight parked on Green Street at about 11:15 p.m. The Subaru was impounded.
Officer Bynon stated that they do have a male suspect and he was released to his family pending future charges and investigation. The suspect's name wasn't provided as the case is still open and under investigation. The suspect was noted to have insurance. Bynon also stated he is working with the district attorney concerning the matter.
As of this morning, Rehrig was on a respirator in critical condition in the intensive care unit, but stable, and is being treated for a broken nose, face, skull, legs and other multiple injuries.
Mattson pointed out that the success of the investigation was a team effort resulting from all the Tamaqua police officers, surrounding police departments, state police, as well local firefighters and fire police who responded.