Boyertown man charged in fatal hit-and-run crash
State Police have filed charges in a fatal hitand-run crash that killed a young father of four in July.
Police said Wednesday they have charged Steven Bernard Rokita, 50, of Boyertown, after an investigation into the July 23 crash identified him as the driver of a red Ford Fusion that police say left the scene of an accident.
The crash occurred on Quakertown Road in Upper Hanover, killing 38-year-old William Bender of East Greenville and leaving 84-year-old Edward Kabakjian of Pennsburg with serious injuries.
At the time, police reported that the incident occurred as an unidentified orange/brown or faded red vehicle was traveling behind Bender’s vehicle, a black 2005 Honda Civic, at around 4:45 p.m. Both vehicles were traveling south on Quakertown Road just before Northgate Boulevard when the unidentified vehicle struck the back bumper of Bender’s vehicle.
The force from the impact then propelled Bender’s vehicle into the opposite lane of oncoming traffic, police said. Bender’s vehicle was then struck on the passenger side by a third oncoming vehicle, a 2003 Buick Sabre driven by Kabakjian.
The unidentified vehicle that struck Bender’s bumper fled the scene and was last seen heading southbound on Quakertown Road toward Pennsburg, police said.
Rokita has been charged with causing an accident involving death or personal injury, making an unsafe movement while driving, following too closely, driving at an unsafe speed, careless driving, failure to stop and give aid, and failure to notify police of a fatal accident. He also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and giving false information, police said.
He is scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 20 before District Judge Maureen C. Coggins.
Bender, who was heading home from his SEPTA job Philadelphia, leaves behind a wife and four children. He was a 1998 graduate of Upper Perkiomen High School.