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John Vito charged with involuntary manslaughter

By 69 News, follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Published On: May 28 2014 03:45:40 PM CDT
Updated On: May 29 2014 06:47:33 AM CDT

Charges filed in homicide by vehicle death of Angela Pope

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

A Lehighton man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and other offenses in the March death of a 47-year-old woman who was jogging in northern Lehigh County.

Fifty-four-year-old Donald John Vito, who resides in the 300 block of North Fifth Street in the Carbon County borough, turned himself in to authorities Wednesday.

After being arraigned, Vito was committed to Lehigh County Prison.

Bail was set at $100,000.

In addition to involuntary manslaughter, Vito has been charged with homicide by vehicle and recklessly endangering another person, plus summary offenses for leaving his lane of travel, following too closely, driving at an unsafe speed and careless and reckless driving.

At about 11:45 a.m. March 12, state police responded to a collision on Route 873 near Phillips Road in Washington Township. 

Police report Vito was traveling south on 873 when he crossed the center double yellow lines into the northbound lane.

His vehicle then crossed the northbound lane's fog line, striking Angela Pope of North Whitehall Township and hitting a utility pole.

Pope, who had been jogging south on the northbound shoulder of Route 873, was pronounced dead on the scene by a Lehigh County deputy coroner.

An autopsy determined the woman died of multiple blunt force trauma caused by the collision.

Another driver told state police she was going north on Route 873 when she had to swerve to avoid being hit by Vito when he crossed the highway into the northbound lane, traveling at a high rate of speed.

That motorist saw Vito's vehicle hit Pope from behind as she was jogging.

Another witness, who was driving south behind Vito, said Vito was following another southbound vehicle too closely. He thought Vito went into the northbound lane in an attempt to pass the vehicle in front of him.

That witness also said Vito was driving at a high rate of speed.

A third witness told police that Vito had been weaving across both lanes of Route 873 and traveling into oncoming traffic.