The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

June 20, 2013

Teen driver faces felony charge in Union County hit-run case

By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item

— LEWISBURG — A 19-year-old New Berlin driver has been charged in a May 22 hit-and-run that left a 62-year-old borough pedestrian with one fractured and one broken arm, a fractured leg, and numerous lacerations, bruises and abrasions.

Meghan Elizabeth Witmer, 19, was charged with accidents involving death or personal injury, a third-degree felony, and failure to give information and render aid in the incident that injured Jose Santiago-Martine, of St. John Street.

Santiago-Martine was walking at the corner of Route 15 and Buffalo Road at 10 p.m. May 22. Neither he nor his son Luis were able to identify the car that sped away after hitting Santiago-Martine.

Santiago-Martine was taken to Evangelical Community Hospital, then flown by medical helicopter to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Buffalo Valley Regional police Chief Paul Yost said at the time.

The investigation continued as officers tried to find the vehicle that struck Santiago-Martine.

Buffalo Valley Officer Shawn Kuhns had clues to work with. Santiago-Martine told him that he believed the driver of the car that hit him was female. And there was debris left on the ground.

Some of the debris helped identify the car as a silver Ford Mustang with a black stripe along the door.

Police contacted The Daily Item with updated vehicle information, in the hopes that someone might be able to identify the car and possibly the driver.

And that’s what happened.

The mother of the owner of the car, Veronica Ulrich, read the news report. Her daughter then contacted police.

Ulrich said she “suspected” that it was her car that had been involved in the accident — but she wasn’t the driver.

Ulrich told police that she had allowed her friend Meghan Witmer to use that car that night.

Ulrich recalled that on the night of May 22, shortly after the time of the accident, she had received a text message from Witmer saying that she had “hit a pole,” according to police.

Kuhns, the officer, questioned Witmer, who admitted that she had hit “something” that night, police said.

Witmer was arraigned June 12 before District Judge Leo Armbruster, of Lewisburg.

Ulrich is the Millmont woman who on May 3 pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge for her role in hiring an unknown male, paying him $25 to beat up a Milton Area High School student who Ulrich says attacked her daughter.