State police in Monroe County are waiting for the results of toxicology tests before deciding on charges against a driver they said hit and killed a senior citizen along a busy road.
Police said Walter Machalick, 85, was hit and killed by a driver Wednesday night as the retired Navy veteran was getting his mail from a roadside mailbox along Route 115 and Log Cabin Road.
Family,friends and neighbors can’t believe the man who was active in the community is gone.
“Great old man. Always waves hi, asks if you’re doing alright,” said neighbor Luis Vega. He lives next door to Walter Machalick. He was home when the tragedy happened. “From the corner of my eye I see a red car zoom by and I heard a big thump.”
What Vega heard, police said, was the car hitting Machalick.
Troopers believe Machalick was going to his mailbox when James York, Jr. of Effort hit the Navy veteran. York’s car then rolled over several times.
State police said Machalick’s family immediately ran to the scene and attempted CPR, but officials believe Machalick was killed on impact.
“It’s sad. It’s a very sad day. Very sad,” Vega added.
“He’d help anybody out if they needed help. It’s such a shame,” said Evelyn Gehricke of Effort.
For about 35 years, Machalick was more than just a parishioner at Our Lady Queen of Peace in Gilbert. Many in the church community said he was more like the life of the party.
“He is somebody who always had a smile. You could be having a bad day and Walter could walk into the office and you’d be like, ‘Hey’ and he’d be like, ‘How you doin’ young lady,” with a hug and a kiss. Just happy all the time. Great guy,” said friend Jacki Douglas.
“In his mid-80s and I’m 15 years younger than him and he seemed more energetic than me or anyone I know,” said friend Ralph Manento.
“Unquenchable spirit. Every time you would ask Walter how he’s doing, he’d say, ‘I think I’m going to be alright,’” Paul Carpenito recounted.
Walter Machalick’s asked for privacy today, but one of Machalick’s children did say her dad was like a dad to everyone.
State police are waiting test results before they decide if charged will be filed against the driver of the car.